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Full text of "Ibrahim Pasha : Grand Vizir of Suleiman the Magnificent"

STUDIES IN HISTORY, ECONOMICS AND PUBLIC LAW 

EDITED BY THE FACULTY OF POLITICAL SCIENCE OF 
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 



Volume XLVI] 



[Number 2 
Whole Number 115 

(</,/// ^ 



IBRAHIM PASHA 

Grand Vizir of Suleiman the iMagnificent 



HESTER DONALDSON JENKINS, Ph.D., 

Former Professor of History in the American 
College for Girls, Constantinople. 




Nero 0ork 
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 

LONGMANS, GREEN & CO., AGENTS, 

LONDON : P. S. KING & SON 

191 I 




COPYRIGHT, ign 

BY 
HESTER DONALDSON JENKINS 



PREFACE 

THE teaching of history in Constantinople naturally 
leads to an interest in the history of Turkey, and also to 
the recognition that little has been written on that subject 
except on the side of political relations with Europe. One 
who desires to present to western readers a brief study of 
Turkish civilization might reasonably turn to the reign of 
Suleiman the Magnificent, as being typical of the course of 
Turkish history, and also as exhibiting Turkey at the 
height of her powers. For the purpose of this dissertation, 
the study has been confined to the career of Ibrahim Pasha, 
grand vizir between 1^2,2. and 1536. 

The writer's acknowledgments are due to Professors 
Sloane and Gottheil for valuable criticism, and for their 
aid in the obtaining of rare books, and to Professor and 
Mrs. -Robinson for the careful reading of proof. 

HESTER DONALDSON JENKINS. 

NOVEMBER 23, 1911. 



ERRATA 

Page 12, line i : for " Leon " read " Leon." 

1 note I, line i : for " Leon " read " Leon." 
note 2 : for ' Vambery " read " Vambery." 

15, line 22 : for ' Busbeq " read " Busbequius." 

line 24 : for ' Charrier's " read " Charriere's." 
line 25 : for ' Negoceations " read " Negotiations." 
line 25 : for ' Actenstiicken " read " Actenstiicke." 
three lines from bottom : for " Abdulrahman " read " Abdur- 
rahman." 

16, note i, line 2 : for " Morgenlandichen " read " Morgenland- 

ischen." 

18, note 2, line 2 : for " Actenstiicken " read " Actenstiicke." 

19, note 4, line I : for " Moldavi " read " Moldavie." 

23, note i : for " Abdulrahman " read " Abdurrahman." 
25, line 4 : for " the sister of Suleiman " read " a sultana." 

line 14 : for " sister " read " relative." 

29, note 2, line i : for " Muselmanes " read " Musulmanes." 
31, note i, line 3: for " Muslimisches " read " muslimischen." 
34, note i : for " dell," read " dell' ." 

38, note i, line 6: for "Abdulrahman" read "Abdurrahman." 

39, line 18: omit comma at end of line. 

54, note i, line 2: for "la jouet" read " le jouet." 
" note i, line 4: for " cette " read " cet." 

55, line 19 : for " was " read " had been." 

" line 20 : omit the words " after the Peace of Cambrai." 

57, line 8 : for " steadily-encroaching " read without hyphen. 

line 21 for " Europe," read " Europe ;" 
line 22 for " the West " read " Europe." 
" line 20 for " Bayezid " read " Bayazid." 

58, line 2: after "fifteenth century" omit the rest of the sentence 

up to " the Turks." 
line 9 : omit the words " heresy and." 
" line 14: for "King Louis" read "King Lewis." 
" line 2 from bottom : for " Reformation "" . read " Protestant 

Revolt." 
" note 2, line I : for " gives notice of " read " records." 

59, note 2, line I : for " <Memoire " read " Memoire." 

60, note i, line 4: for " (Buntniss) " read " (Bundniss)." 
62, line 23 : for " Hieronymous " read " Hieronymus." 

" line 5 from bottom : for " Siebenbergen " read " Transyl- 
vania." 

" note 3, line i : for " Hoberdanacz " read " Hobordanacz." 

64, note i : for " Ottoman " read " Ottomane." 

" note 4 : for " Charrieres " read " Charriere." 

68, line 2: for " Krain " read "Carniola." 

" line 15: for "Barbarossa" read " Barbarosa." 

" line 24: for 



Page 69, line 2 : for " Barbarossa " read " Barbarosa." 
line 4: for 

line 8: for ' forms" read "formed." 
note i for ' Ambassadors " read " Ambassadeurs." 
note i for Memoire " read " Memoire." 
note 2 for ' Charrieres " read " Charriere." 
72, line 6: for "Urkunde" read " Urkunden." 
85, note i, line 2 : for " zechinen " read " sequins." 
note i, line 9: after "Covas" insert a comma, 
note i, line 10: for " Hoefflingen " read " Hoeflingen," and 

for " Ludwig " read " Ludwigs." 

note i, line 13: for " auszuselzen " read " auszusetzen." 
note i, line 14: for " Grossvizere " read " Grossviziere." 
note i, last line from bottom: for "den" read " dem." 
88, line 9: for "Francois" read " Frangois." 

line 10 : for "preventions " read " preventions," and for 

" contemporaries " read " contemporains." 
line 1 1 : for " veritable " read " veritable." 

94, note 2, line 9: for "Kupelwieser" read "von Kupelwieser." 
; note 2, line 10: for " Oesterreichen " read " Oesterreichs." 
98, line 6 : for " shiek " read "sheik." 

' 104, lines 4 and 10 : for " Jurischitz " read " Juritschitz." 
note i, line i: for "Jurischitz" read "Juritschitz." 
' 105, line 3 : for " Barbarossa " read " Barbarosa." 
' 109, note 6, line i : omit " Grimeston," and before " quoted " in- 
sert " Djelalzadek." 

' 1 10, line 5 : for " over-lenient " read same words without hyphen. 
' in, note i: for " Abdulrahman " read "Abdurrahman." 
" " note 2: for " iRepublique " read " republique." 
' 112, note 3, line 2: for "Abdulrahman" read "Abdurrahman." 
" 116, line 16: for "Abdulrahman" read "Abdurrahman." 
" 118, fifth line from bottom: for "Sokolly" read " Sokolli." 
" 120, line 3 : for " Ambasciatore " read " Ambasciatori." 
" " sub verbo " Aristarchi " : for " Legislation " read " Legisla- 
tion." 
" " sub verbo " Gevay " : for " Actenstiicken " read " Acten- 

stiicke." 

" " line 8 : for " reglements " read "reglements." 
" " line 14: for "Correspondence" read " Correspondance," and 

for " Memoires " read " Memoires." 

" " line 16 : for " Ambasadeurs " read " Ambassadeurs." 
" " line 28 : for " Venetiens " read " Venetiens." 
" 121, sub verbo " Busbecq " read " Busbequius." 
" " sub verbo " Hakluyt " : omit the whole line. 
" " line 17: for " Sclaven " read " Sklaven." 
" " sub verbo " Vambery " read " Vambery." 
" " sub verbo " Abdulrahman " read " Abdurrahman." 
" " sub verbo " Abdulrahman " : insert a new title as follows : 
Armstrong, Edward, The Emperor Charles V. London, 
1892. 

" " sub verbo " Cahun " : for " Leon " read " Leon." 
" " sub verbo "Cantimir": insert a new title as follows: Coxe, 
William, History of the House of Austria. London, 1899. 
" 122, line 17, and line 31: for "Leipsig" read "Leipzig." 
" 123, sub verbo " Hakluyt's Voyages " : insert " Edition of 1812." 
" " line 21 : for " Memoires " read " Memoires." 



CONTENTS 



INTRODUCTION 

PAG* 

Origin of the Turks their advance from Central Asia to Europe, n 

Dominating qualities of the Turk 12 

Early political ideals 12 

Rise and fall of the Seljouk kingdom 14 

Rise of the Ottoman power 14 

National characteristics 15 

CHAPTER I 
IBRAHIM'S RISE 

Ibrahim's origin, birth and childhood 18 

He becomes the property of Prince Suleiman 18 

His care for his parents and brothers 19 

His rapid promotion 20 

His protests against such speedy honors 20 

The personal servants of the Sultan 21 

Ibrahim's education and early training 22 

Ibrahim a eunuch some account of the institution and duties of 

black and white eunuchs 23 

This was no bar to advancement or marriage 24 

Slavery in Turkey different from that in the Occident 25 

The advice of the Prophet and the laws of the Koran on the treat- 
ment of slaves . 26 

Loyalty and obedience the two great virtues in the eyes of the 

Turks 32 

Ibrahim a slave, which was of advantage in opening a career for 

him 33 

Ibrahim's love of magnificence 33 

Ibrahim becomes Grand Vizir his power and greatness .... 34 

The history of the vizirate 35 

The marriage of Ibrahim Pasha 37 

Ibrahim's relations to the Sultan 42 

7 



CONTENTS 



Ll'4 



CHAPTER II 

IBRAHIM THE ADMINISTRATOR 

Revolt of Ahmed Pasha 43 

Ibrahim goes to Egypt 44 

Revolt is quieted and order restored 45 

Appointed head of the army 47 

The Cabyz affair 49 

Ibrahim zealous in cause of commerce 50 

Receives envoys in great state 51 

Characterization of Ibrahim as an administrator 52 

CHAPTER III 
IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 

Turkish foreign relations 54 

Ragusa Venice Russia 55 

The Holy Roman Empire .... -56 

France the Popes 57 

Embassies to the Porte 59 

The Hungarian campaign siege of Vienna 61 

Contest of Ferdinand and Zapolya 61 

Commercial treaty with France ... 64 

Second Hungarian campaign 65 

Treaty with Ferdinand ... 67 

War with Persia conquest of the Mediterranean 68 

The Protectorate of France in the Levant 69 

Diplomatic relations between the Porte and Europe 70 

Ibrahim's preparation as diplomat 71 

Ibrahim's reception of ambassadors 72 

Ibrahim's importance and influence 82 

Object and accomplishments of Turkish diplomacy 87 

First entrance of Turkey into European diplomacy 87 

Ibrahim's influence over Suleiman ....... 88 

Characterization of Ibrahim as diplomat 89 

CHAPTER IV 
IBRAHIM THE GENERAL 

Campaign against Belgrad oo 

Siege of Rhodes oo 

Ceremonial of preparation for war 90 

Organization of the Turkish army 91 

Capture of Peterwardein 95 



II5J CONTENTS 9 

PAGK 

Battle of Mohacz g6 

Capture of Buda and end of campaign ... 97 

Campaign of Vienna ... 100 

Suleiman's first defeat 102 

Siege of Guns practical defeat . - 103 

War with Persia 105 

Advance to Bagdad and end of campaign too 

Characterization of Ibrahim as general 107 

CHAPTER V 

IBRAHIM'S FALL 

Death of Ibrahim 108 

Charges against Ibrahim no 

Said to favor the Christians no 

Quarrel with Iskender Chelebi 112 

Suleiman evades his oath 113 

Uncertainty of life near the Ottoman throne 114 

Was Ibrahim a traitor? 115 

Ibrahim's importance in Turkish history 118 



INTRODUCTION 

THE life of Ibrahim Pasha, as full of strange events as 
the most highly-colored romance, paradoxical, and to west- 
ern students of society almost incomprehensible in its rapid 
changes, is very difficult to place soberly before Occidental 
readers ; yet its very strangeness is typical of the Orient, and 
if we could understand this romantic life we might find we 
held a key to much in Turkish life and thought. But our 
only chance of understanding it is to banish from our minds 
western conceptions and accept as facts what seem like wild 
imaginings. Ibrahim Pasha was not of the Turkish race, 
a fact which accounts for some of the paradoxes of his 
career, but his life was passed in a Turkish environment, 
one of whose notable characteristics is that it has always at 
once included and modified so many alien elements. In any 
consideration of the Turkish people, the most important 
thing to hold in mind is that the Turks are neither Aryan 
nor Semitic, being unrelated to Persians, Arabs, Greeks, or 
Hebrews. When ethnologists dare not speak definitely of 
race distinctions, the layman cannot venture to place the 
Turk in the " Touranian " or other group, but he can accept 
the fact that the Turks came into Europe from Central 
Asia and are in some way related to the Tatars and 
Mongols in the East, and probably to the Magyars and 
Finns in the West. The Turks of Central Asia during the 
period from the eighth to the eleventh centuries seem to have 
possessed qualities which characterize Turks of the period 
we are studying, and even mark the Turk of the present 
da. 



12 IBRAHIM PASHA [ng 

Monsieur Leon Cahun, in his monograph on the Turks 
and the Mongols, 1 has made a careful study of these early 
Turks, a portion of which I will briefly summarize here. 

The dominating quality of the Turks of Central Asia 
was their love of war. According to a Persian verse: 
' They came and pillaged and burned and killed and charged 
and vanished." The one virtue required of them was obedi- 
ence, the only crime was treason. Activity to them meant 
war; one word expressed the idea contained in our two 
words to run and to kill zvith the sword. The ideal death 
was in war ; as their proverb ran, " Man is born in the house 
but dies in the field." In their earliest cults the worship of 
steel and the sword are prominent. 

Their second marked characteristic was their hierarchical 
spirit, and their strong feeling for discipline. Insubordina- 
tion and conspiracy they always punished by death. Their 
ideal government is illustrated by the inscription on a 
funeral stone recently found in Mongolia. It was 
erected in 733 A. D. by a Turkish prince to his brother 
Kul Khan, the substance being as follows : " I and my 
brother Kul Khan Tikine together have agreed that the 
name and renown acquired by the Turkish people through 
our father and uncle shall not be blotted out. For the sake 
of the Turkish people I have not slept by night nor rested 
by day. . . I have given garments to the naked, I have 
enriched the poor, I have made the few numerous, I have 
honored the virtuous. ... By the aid of Heaven, as I have 
gained much, the Turkish people also have gained much." 

Another bit of evidence as to their early political ideals is 
taken from The Art of Government, a didactic poem de- 
scribing Turkish society in the eleventh century. 2 It says 

1 Leon Cahun, L 'Introduction de I'Histoire de I'Asie Centrals. Les 
Turcf et les Mongols (Paris, 1896"). chap. i. 

2 Koudakou Bih'k. ro68, Trans, by Vambery, quoted by Cahun. 



IIO J INTRODUCTION 13 

" Speak to the people with kindness, but do not let them 
become familiar. Give them to eat and drink;" and it 
urges the ruler to strive for the blessing of the poor by 
such actions. 

The Art of Government brings out a third side of the 
medieval Turk, his love of learning. The civil mandarins 
are placed in rank above the beys. 1 " Honor always keeps 
company with knowledge." " Mark well, there are two 
kinds of noble persons; the one is the bey, the other the 
scholar, in this world below . . . the former with his 
glove on his fist commands the people, the latter with his 
knowledge shows the path." 

Despite the development of the Turkish people from bar- 
barous tribes into a civilized state, the Ottoman Empire of 
the sixteenth century was built on the lines indicated, and 
Sultan Suleiman showed similar qualities and ideals to those 
possessed by Kul Khan and his brother. 

Towards the end of the tenth century, a branch of the 
Turks, henceforth known as the Turcomans, accepted Islam 
at the hands of the conquering Arabs, and in course of time 
all of the Turkish peoples became Moslem. Naturally 
through their religion the Arabs came to exert a strong in- 
fluence on the rude Turks, so strong that Turkish thought 
has never since been wholly free from Arabic dominance. 
The Turks are an exceedingly loyal people, accepting the 
religion imposed upon them with whole-heartedness. They 
are not by nature fanatical ; on the contrary they are tem- 
peramentally tolerant, fanaticism where it has existed being 
an outgrowth of political conditions, or a foreign trait 
taken over with Islam. 2 Rather oddly, and perhaps unfor- 

1 Bey is a military title, corresponding approximately to colonel or 
perhaps to a higher title in the eleventh century. 

* This judgment is the result of personal observation, supported by 
statements of M. Cahun and others. 



I4 IBRAHIM PASHA [ I2 o 

Innately, when the Turks became literate they fell under Per- 
sian rather than Arabic influence, and for centuries, indeed 
up to our own century, Turkish literature has been little 
more than an imitation of the Persian, very formal and 
rhetorical. Thus the two great forces engaged in mould- 
ing the Turkish mind were Arabic theology and Persian 
poetry, the large Arabic and Persian element in the Turkish 
language being a good illustration of this. 

In the twelfth century the Asiatic hordes pressing into 
Asia Minor came into contact with the Greeks. But there 
was no intellectual reaction between Greek and Turk. 

The Seljouk kingdom rose and fell in Asia Minor; then 
the chieftain Othman x stepped on its ruins and climbed to 
power. He and his descendants gradually conquered the 
Greeks until Byzantium was theirs. Ottoman conquests still 
continued, until a century after the fall of Constantinople 
Suleiman pushed his armies to the gates of Vienna and 
marked the farthest point of the Turkish invasion of Europe. 
During Suleiman's reign Turkey not only dominated the 
Balkan Peninsula from the Adriatic to the Black Sea and 
north to the Danube, but it also greatly influenced the rest 
of Europe. There was not a court in Europe that was not 
forced to reckon with Sultan Suleiman. So the career of 
Ibrahim, his distinguished grand vizir, is not a mere 
romance; it is a career which intimately affected the hopes 
and fears of Ferdinand of Austria, Charles V of Spain, 
Francis I of France, and even Henry VIII of England, as 
well as the Pope and the Venetian Signory. 

At the height of their power the Turks were neverthe- 
less still a simple people. While western society has moved 
from complexity to greater complexity, their society has 
preserved an unembarrassed simplicity. They are loyal to 

1 Othman or Ostnan, who gave his name to the Ottoman State. 



I2I J INTRODUCTION 15 

state, religion, race, family, habit. Their religion is rigidly 
monotheistic; their government (up to July 24, 1908) has 
been the simplest possible monarchy, a personal despotism; 
they are probably the most unaffectedly democratic people 
in the world; a man is what his merit or his fortune has 
made him, with no regard to his ancestry; they are uni- 
tarian in religion, government and society. In morals the 
same simplicity prevails, with no torturing doubts and few 
sophistries. Much that seems like a fairy tale to us is simple 
unquestioning reality to them. 

In this simplicity, this single-mindedness, they are 
totally different from the Arabs of the Khalifate, with 
whom they have been so much associated in Western minds, 
but with whom they have no relationship beyond that of a 
common religion. The Turks, I repeat, are a much simpler 
as well as a more warlike people than any other Oriental 
nation. 

The sources for the life of Ibrahim are classified natu- 
rally in three groups: (ist) The Turkish histories and bio- 
graphies, first and second hand ; (2nd) the accounts of Euro- 
pean travelers and residents in Constantinople, such as 
Mouradjia D'Ohsson, Busbeq, and the Venetian baillies; 
and (3rd) the diplomatic correspondence and documents 
of the time as found in such collections as Charrier's 
Negoceations, Gevay's Urkunden und Actenstucken, and 
Noradunghian's and de Testa's Rectteils. A student would 
also wish to consult the histories written by foreigners, such 
as von Hammer, Zinkheisen and Jorga, whose sources are 
found in the three classes of evidence cited above. 

It is impossible to confine ourselves to the Turkish 
sources, because of the notable omission of accounts of in- 
stitutions, and the total absence of description. Abdul- 
rahman Sheref, the present historiographer of Turkey, is 
the first Turkish writer of whom I know, who devotes some 



1 6 IBRAHIM PASHA [ I2 2 

chapters to general subjects such as " The Provinces ", 
" Literature ", etc., in imitation of European histories. The 
historians of Suleiman's time were rather chroniclers, the 
Comines and Froissarts of their day though with much less 
of petty and personal detail. Therefore we must turn to 
Occidental observers for accounts of the Turkish manner of 
life, their warfare and their government, except where we 
can learn from Turkish law or poetry. But practically all 
that the Ottomans have told us of themselves and of their 
rulers, we may trust in a way we cannot trust Western evi- 
dence. Every one who knows the East is aware how a re- 
port will pass through the bazaars and into the interior 
of the country, or up the Nile for hundreds of miles, with 
marvelous rapidity and more marvelous accuracy. Just 
as the story-teller repeats a tale as his remote ancestor first 
told it, so do men hand down a tradition unembellished and 
unchanged. Turkish tradition is an expression of the sin- 
cerity and simplemindedness of the Turkish character. The 
Turks are neither sceptics, nor desirous of deceiving, there- 
fore they transmit an account as they have received it. 

There are of course exceptions to this: Suleiman's Let- 
ters of Victory are overdrawn at times, and a legendary 
history of him has been found. 1 written a century after 
his reign, in which the events of his life are hard to dis- 
cover amidst a mass of legend. But this last case seems 
to have been a direct attempt to write an epic piece, and 
is quite different from the clear, straight narrative of the 
ordinary chronicler. The court chronicler's embellishments 
consist mainly in flowery phrases, such as " Sultan Sulei- 
man Khan, whose glory reaches the heavens, and who is 
the Sun of Valor and Heroism, and the Shadow of God 
on Earth, may Allah keep his soul." In other words, the 

1 Th. Noldecke, " Geschichte Suleimans des Ersten," in Zeitschrift 
der Deutschen Morgevldndichen Gesellschaft, vol. xii, 1858, p. 220. 



123] INTRODUCTION ij 

style is embellished but not the facts, the latter being related 
as uncritically and directly as a child relates an event. 

Sometimes the perspective seems to us very odd, since 
the emphasis seems to be placed on the unimportant 
part of the narrative, but in such cases we must seek in 
the Turkish mind for an explanation of why that phase, 
unimportant to us, is to the Turkish writer and reader, of 
importance. As an illustration of this, take the Turkish 
accounts of Ibrahim's Egyptian expedition. The Suli- 
mannameh and later histories all give more space to the 
hardships of Ibrahim's voyage to Egypt, and to the honor 
paid him by the Sultan than to the organization of Egypt, 
which occupied seven months. This seems, and doubtless 
is naive, but we can see from it what a great effort a sea 
expedition was to this inland people, and also how above 
everything else in importance loomed the favor of the mon- 
arch, by whom all subjects rose to power or fell into dis- 
grace. It further shows the stress laid on the lives of cour- 
tiers and officials rather than on the ordering of a province, 
in which, of course, it resembles all early histories. 

For details in regard to the sources used for this study, 
the reader is referred to the Bibliography. 



CHAPTER I 

IBRAHIM'S RISE 

IBRAHIM was a Christian of base extraction, the son of 
a Greek sailor of Parga. 1 He was born in I494- 2 In his 
childhood he was captured by Turkish corsairs. 3 It would 
seem that he was first sold to a widow of Magnesia, who 
clothed him well and had him well educated, and especially 
trained to perform upon a musical instrument resembling 
the violin, which he learned to play beautifully. 4 

Whether it was on one of his expeditions to Asia Minor 
that Suleiman, son of the reigning monarch Selim I, met 
Ibrahim and was won by his charm and his musical ability, 
or whether Ibrahim was taken to Constantinople and there 
sold to the prince, cannot be determined from conflicting re- 

1 I Diarii di Marini Sanuto, vol. xxxv, p. 258 (published Venice, 
1879). 

Relazioni degli Ambasciatori Veneti, ed. by Alberi, Series III, vol. 
iii. Report of Pietro Zen, 1524, p. 95. 

Solakzadeh, Tarih Osmanieh (Constantinople, 1297, A. H.). 

M. Baudier, The History of the Imperial Estate of the Grand Seig- 
neurs (1635, trans, by Grimeston), p. 171. 

Parga, a village on the coast of Greece, opposite Corfu, under Vene- 
tian domination in the sixteenth century. 

* He himself told the embassaror Zara in 1532 that he was born the 
same week as Suleiman. Cf. Urkunden und Actenstiicken zur Ge- 
schichte der Verh'dltnisse swischen Oesterreich, Ungarn, und der 
Pforte im XVI und XVII fahrhunderte. Aus Archiven und Biblio- 
theken, Anton von Gevay (Wien, 1840). 

3 Ibid., also Pietro Zen, op. cit. 

4 Suonava a perfezione il violino." Alberi, III, 3, p. 95, Pietro Zen. 

18 [124 



I2 5] IBRAHIM'S RISE 19 

ports, but the fact that Ibrahim became Suleiman's property 
is incontestable. 1 

Ibrahim never forgot his origin or his family. In 1527 
his father came to Constantinople to visit him, and later he 
had his mother and his two brothers at the Palace. 2 He 
was able to help his father substantially, giving him a 
sandjak or governorship. 3 Of course Ibrahim adopted 
Islam, else there were no story to tell, for a Christian could 
have had no career in Turkey m that day. 

Baudier says that the boy Ibrahim was carried to Con- 
stantinople by " them which exact the tribute of Christian 
Children." This tribute of Christian children had been 
levied since the reign of Orkhan (1326-1361) and was the 
material of which the redoubtable army of janissaries was 
formed. These children, separated from their own coun- 
tries and their families, and practically always converted 
to Islam, were for the most part trained in military camps 
and forbidden to marry. Therefore they had no interest 
except in war, and no loyalty except to the sultan. Thus 
they developed into the finest military machine the world 
had known, the most perfect instrument for a conqueror's 
use, but a dangerous force in time of peace. 

Sometimes the tribute children were bred for civil careers 
and not placed in the corps of the janissaries. Prince 
Cantimir of Moldavia 4 states that Ibrahim was a simple 

1 Baudier tells the latter story, Pietro Zen the former. Guillaume 
Postel (Poitiers, 1560) gives a slightly different version. He says 
that Ibrahim was captured for a soldier in Selim's reign and sold to 
Iskender Chelebi, the treasurer of Anatolia. This is interesting in 
view of his later relations with Iskender, but is not sustained by other 
witnesses. 

2 Alberi, op. cit., p. 116, Marco Minio. 

3 Ibid., p. 97. Also Sanuto, vol. xli, p. 527, Piero Bragadino. 

4 S. A. S. Demetrius Cantimir, Prince de Moldavi, Histqire de I'Em- 
pire Othoman (1743, tr. by de Joncquieres), vol. ii, p. 289. 



20 IBRAHIM PASHA [ I2 6 

janissary of the 9th company. I have been unable to find 
a source for this statement, but Ibrahim's later career as 
general of the Imperial forces would seem to imply a mili- 
tary training. Von Hammer, 1 however, ascribes Cantimir's 
statement to an error, and gives Ibrahim a civil training. 

Ibrahim's first office was page to the heir apparent Sulei- 
man. When the latter came to the throne in 1 520, he made 
Ibrahim Head Falconer, and then raised him in rapid succes- 
sion to the respective posts of Khass-oda-Bashi, or Master 
of the Household, of Beylerbey of Roumelie, Vizir, Grand 
Vizir, and finally Serasker, or general-in-chief of the Im- 
perial forces a dazzlingly rapid promotion. Baudier tells 
a story in this connection which might easily be true, being 
quite in character, although it can not be verified. The 
story runs thus : " Ibrahim's rapid rise began to alarm him. 
The inconstancy of fortune, as exampled by the fate of 
many of the great men of the Ottoman court, created in 
him an apprehension of the great peril which attached to 
those favorites who enjoyed the high dignities of the court, 
and served as a bridle to restrain his desires. He besought 
Suleiman not to advance him so high that his fall would be 
his ruin. He showed him that a modest prosperity was 
safer than the greatness wherewith he would honor him; 
that his services would be rewarded sufficiently if he re- 
ceived enough to enable him to pass his days in rest and 
comfort. Suleiman commended his modesty, but meaning 
to advance him to the chief dignities of the empire, he swore 
that Ibrahim should not be put to death as long as he; 
reigned, no matter what other changes might be made in 
the court." " But " moralizes Baudier, " the condition of 
kings, which is human and subject to change, and that of 
favorites, who are proud and unthankful, shall cause Sulei- 

1 Von Hammer, Histoire de I'Empire Ottoman, tr. by J. J. Hellert 
(Paris, 1836), vol. v, note 23, p. 45. 



I2 7] IBRAHIM'S RISE 21 

man to fail of his promise and Ibrahim to lose his faith and 
loyalty as we shall see ". 1 

A knowledge of the duties of these offices held by Ibrahim 
is essential to an understanding of the Turkish court at 
which his life was spent. 2 The personal servants of the sul- 
tan were divided into six classes or " chambers " ; the Body 
guard, the Guard of the treasury, the Guard of the office, 
the Guard of the campaign, the Black eunuchs and the 
White eunuchs. The Body guard, or personal attendants, 
included the Master of the stirrup, the Master of the keys, 
the Chief water-pourer, the Chief coffee-server, etcetera, to 
the number of thirty-nine. The first of these chambers was 
well furnished with attendants, mutes, dwarfs, musicians, 
and pages; some of these pages were attached to the per- 
sonal service of high officials, whose pipes, coffee, or per- 
fumes they tended ; they might also be attached to the ser- 
vice of the sultan. Ibrahim seems to have been a page in 
the service of the shahzadeh or heir, Suleiman. 

The heir to the throne after his thirteenth or fourteenth 
year had his own palace separate from his father's harem, 
in which he had thus far been brought up. As soon as he 
showed sufficient promise he was sent to some province, that 
he might have experience in governing. Thus Suleiman > 
during the reign of his father Selim, was made governor of 
Magnesia in Asia Minor, north of Smyrna, where he prob- 
ably met Ibrahim, a youth of his own age. The court of 
the shahzadeh had the same officials, with the same titles, as 
the Imperial court. 

It was then in Suleiman's court in Magnesia that Ibra- 
him held his position as page. The. pages in the sultan's 
palace at Constantinople attended schools especially de- 

1 Baudier, op. cit., p. 172. 

* Cf. M. de Mourajea D'Ohsson, Tableau General de V Empire Otto- 
man (1787), vol. iii, passim. 



22 IBRAHIM PASHA [ I2 g 

signed to train them, and Ibrahim, when he became grand 
vizir, founded one of the best of these schools in Stamboul. 
Probably there were no such schools in the provinces, but 
either in the palace, or earlier in the household of the widow 
of Magnesia, Ibrahim obtained an excellent education. 

He could read Persian as well as Turkish, also Greek 
(his native tongue) and Italian. He was a wide reader, 
delighting in geography and history, especially the lives of 
Alexander the Great and Hannibal. Of his musical training 
we have already spoken. 1 When their schooling was com- 
pleted, the pages were taken into the Serai, 2 passing through 
two lower chambers before completing their education in 
the first chamber. The pages usually lodged near the 
sultan's apartments in handsome dormitories having their 
own mosque and baths. But Ibrahim, as the favorite of 
Suleiman, used to sleep in the apartments of his lord and 
master, and generally took his meals with him. 3 Bragadino 
says that when they were not together in the morning they 
wrote notes to each other, which they sent by mutes. 
Pietro Zen records seeing them together often in a little 
boat with but one oarsman, and says they would land at 
Seraglio Point and wander through the gardens together. 4 
Zen declares that the Grand Signer loved Ibrahim greatly, 
and that the two were inseparable from childhood up, con- 
tinuing so after Suleiman became sultan. This intimacy, so 
often noted by the Venetian Baillies, is never commented 
on by the Turkish writers. It scandalized the Ottomans, 
and seemed to them utterly unsuitable that the Lord of 

1 Sanuto, op. cit., vol. xli, Pietro Bragadino. 

a The word Serai will be used in these pages in the Turkish sense 
of palace and will refer to a royal palace. 

3 Sanuto, op. cit., vol. xli, p. 527, Pietro Bragadino. 
* Alton, III, I, p. 28. 



I2 g] IBRAHIM'S RISE 23 

the Age should show such favor to his slave. The par- 
tiality of Suleiman for Ibrahim is important, for it is the 
explanation of Ibrahim's phenomenal rise. 

From a page, Ibrahim became Head Falconer, a post 
which requires no explanation. The last two chambers of 
the sultan's personal attendants were the black and white 
eunuchs. The black eunuchs, several hundred in number, 
guarded the imperial harem, and were thence called aghas 
of the harem. Their chief was called Kizlar agha, or agha 
of the maidens, and his office included some further duties 
beside those connected with the " maidens." There were 
also in the palace a number of white eunuchs, whose chief 
was called Capou agha, or captain of the gate. Next to him 
the chief officer was the Khass-oda-bashi. The Turkish 
historians 1 call Ibrahim, at the time of his being called to 
the vizirate, " khass-oda-bashi." Cantimir calls him " Cap- 
tain of the Inner Palace " which is a very good translation 
of the Turkish term. This official, as we have seen, was 
second in rank among the white eunuchs. To him was 
confided one of the three imperial seals set in rings, used 
for the precious objects which were kept in the apartment 
of the sultan. 2 

He also garbed in caftans 8 in the Imperial presence those 
whom the sultan would thus honor. Another curious duty 
was the following: whenever the sultan had his head shaved, 
and the personal attendants stood in order before him, their 
hands crossed respectfully over their girdles, the khass-oda- 
bashi placed himself several steps from the sofa, on which 
the sultan sat, his right hand resting on a baton chased with 

1 Petchevi, Chelebizadeh, Solakzadeh, Abdulrahman Sheref, etc. 

J For instance, the vials of water blessed by the immersion of one 
end of the mantle of the Prophet, which the sultan ordered distributed 
to the nobles of the state on the isth of the month of Ramazan. 

8 Caftan, a long, loose-sleeved cloak or robe. 



24 IBRAHIM PASHA 

gold and silver. The white eunuchs lodged behind the third 
gate of the palace, the Bab-el-saadet, or Gate of Felicity. 
D'Ohsson states : * " The seraglio is their prison and their 
tomb; they are never permitted to absent themselves. The 
white eunuchs have no other prospect than the post of Com- 
mandant of the school of pages at Galata." 

It would seem that Ibrahim must have been a eunuch. 
Daniele Barbarigo states it flatly 2 and the office of khass- 
oda-bashi, according to D'Ohsson, was held only by 
eunuchs. Furthermore Solakzadeh speaks of Ibrahim's 
being called from the Imperial harem to the grand viz- 
irate, and all the officials of the harem were necessarily 
eunuchs. But to Ibrahim the seraglio was neither a prison 
nor a tomb. He went freely about the city, and his rise 
was not at all impeded by what generally proved a fatal 
limitation. Other eunuchs have also overcome their limi- 
tations, for D'Ohsson mentions four eunuchs, kizlar aghas, 
who became grand vizirs. Another very distinguished 
eunuch, Ghazanber Agha, a Hungarian prisoner-of-war, 
in childhood was educated as a page in the serai, became 
a Mahommedan and, because Selim II, the son and suc- 
cessor of Suleiman the Magnificent, wanted him about his 
person, he voluntarily submitted to castration, in order to 
enter the corps of white eunuchs. His office was capou 
agha (captain of the gate) which he held for thirty years, 
and raised to a very great importance. 

That Ibrahim married need not astonish us, for mar- 
riages arranged with eunuchs by fathers of many daugh- 
ters were not uncommon. Sometimes a sultana was mar- 
ried to a eunuch for his fortune, in which case he gener- 
ally died soon after his marriage; sometimes no other suit- 

1 D'Ohsson, op. cit., vol. iii, p. 303 
2 Alberi, III, ii, p. 31. 



IBRAHIM'S RISE 



25 



able husband being found for her, she was given to a eunuch 
of high rank. In stories we occasionally read of a father 
who marries his daughter to a eunuch as a punishment. 
Ibrahim probably married the sister of Suleiman, which 
curiously enough would be a more natural marriage than 
with a woman of lower rank, for it has never been deemed 
advisable that the daughters of sultans should have male 
children, and if such were born, they were condemned to 
immediate death by the omission to knot the umbilical 
cord. This measure became a law in the reign of Ahmed 
I, 1 with the idea of saving the country from the civil war 
of rival princes of the blood, but was probably a custom 
long before it was legalized. Therefore Suleiman may have 
thought that the marriage of his sister to a man of Ibra- 
him's position, fortune, and charm, was a happy fate for a 
princess who might not hope to be a mother. 

We have seen that the fact that Ibrahim was a Greek, and 
a Christian by birth, was no barrier to his rise, so long as 
he adopted Islam. Many of the great officials of Turkey 
were of Christian extraction ; as for instance, the two men 
who succeeded Ibrahim Pasha as Grand Vizirs, Rustem 
Pasha and Mehmet Sokolly, considered the greatest of 
Turkish vizirs and both Croats by birth. Furthermore his 
humble family was no obstacle, for in Turkey it has always 
been possible for a bootblack or a grocer to rise to the high- 
est position, if good fortune or marked ability led him 
thither. 

Ibrahim suffered from still another disability, as we in 
the Occident would consider it : he was a slave. How did 
that affect his advancement? To understand the position 
of a slave in Turkey in the fifteenth century we must recog- 
nize at the outset the fact that Turkish slavery was quite 

1 D'Ohsson, op. cit., vol. iii, p. 315. 



IBRAHIM PASHA 



[I3 2 



different from that of the Occident, and so approach the 
subject free from our natural prejudice. 

The only slavery sanctioned by Islam is that imposed on 
infidels as a result of supposed inferiority of race and reli- 
gion, 1 and has never in fact included the rayahs (Christian 
subjects) but only prisoners of war. The rayah might not 
be enslaved but neither might he hold slaves, except in very 
rare instances before 1759, and not at all after that date. 2 

There were two kinds of legal slaves, those made by cap- 
ture in war, and those by birth. Slaves by purchase, taken 
from Africa and the Caucasus, were not recognized by law, 
but nevertheless such slavery existed. 3 Brigands also seized 
foreigners from time to time and sold them as slaves. Pris- 
oners of war lost their civil liberty according to Islamic 
law. The Prophet repeatedly enjoins their destruction. 4 

1 George Young, Corps de Droit Ottoman (1905), vol. ii, p. 166; 
also D'Ohsson, op. cit., vol. iii, p. 133. 

2 " Nach muslimischem Gesetz ist Sklave derjenige welche im 
Kriege gefangen genommen oder mit Gewalt aus feindlichem Lande 
fortgefiihrt worden ist, wenn er zur Zeit seiner Gefangennahme ein 
Unglaubiger war." Robert Roberts, Familien, Sklaven, und Erben- 
recht im Koran, p. 42. (Leipzig, 1908.) 

3 D'Ohsson, op. cit., vol. iii, p. 35. 

* " And when ye meet those who misbelieve, then strike off their 
heads until ye have massacred them, and bind fast the bonds." "Then 
either a free agent (liberty) or a ransom until the war shall have laid 
down its burdens." Koran (Palmer's translation, vol. ix, of Sacred 
Books of the East), Surah, XLVII, vs. 4-5. 

" The reward of those who make war against God and His Apostle, 
and strive after violence in the earth, is only that they shall be 
slaughtered and crucified, or their hands cut off, or their feet on alter- 
nate sides, or that they shall be banished from the land, a disgrace 
for them in this world, and for them in the next a mighty woe, save 
for those who repent before ye have them in your power." Ibid., 
Surah V, vs. 37. 

" The spoils are God's and the Apostles' ; fear God and settle it 
among yourselves. . . . Fight them then, that there should be no sedi- 



IBRAHIM'S RISE 27 

According to the Turkish code, the sovereign might per- 
petuate their captivity, or free them to pay tribute, or cause 
them to be slaughtered, if more expedient. The exceptions 
to this law were the cases of any orthodox Moslems who 
might fall into Turkish power, and the case of the Tatars 
of the Crimea, who were Shiites, or heretic Moslems, and 
who were enslaved. 1 

Prisoners of war formed two classes of slaves, prisoners 
of the state, and private slaves. To the first class belonged 
all soldiers and officers, and a fifth of the rest of the slaves, 
or their value. Of these some were exchanged or resold 
after the peace, others were employed in the Serai or given 
away. Some were handed over to public works, especially 
to the admiralty, where they were confounded with crim- 
inals and condemned to hard labor. To the second class 
belonged all the prisoners not given to the sultan, including 
those captured by the soldiers. These were generally sold. 
Merchants would purchase them in the camps, and sell them 
all over the Empire. These slaves taken in war were far 
the greater number of slaves in the Empire; many were 
enfranchised before they had children, and children of one 
free and one slave parent were themselves born free. The 
adoption of Islam after captivity did not free the slave. 

The power of the master was absolute over the person, 
children and property of his slaves. He might sell, give, or 
bequeath them, but he might not kill them without some 
reason. As a corollary of this power, the master had full 

tion, and that the religion should be wholly God's; but if they desist 
(to disbelieve) then God on what they do doth look. But if they turn 
their backs, then know that God is your Lord . . . and know that 
whenever ye seize anything as a spoil, to God belongs a fifth thereof, 
and to his Apostle and to kindred and orphans and the poor the way- 
farer." Ibid., Surah VIII, vs. i, 40-42. 
1 D'Ohsson, op. cit., vol. iii, p. 35- 



28 IBRAHIM PASHA 

responsibility for his slave; he must support him, pay his 
debts, stand behind him in any civil affair, and give consent 
to his holding of property. A slave might not act as a 
witness nor as a guardian. He was entirely dependent on 
his master. 

Thus far the theory is not unlike that of the West, but 
there were two facts which changed the entire situation. 
The first was the brevity of time of enslavement in most 
cases; the second was the absence of odium attached to the 
position of a slave. In regard to the first fact, it was not 
considered humane to keep persons long in slavery, and it 
was a general rule to enfranchise them either before their 
marriage or on their coming of age, or when they had 
served sufficiently long. Enfranchisement is a voluntary and 
private act by which the patron frees his slave from the 
bonds of servitude and puts him into the free class. 1 It is 
also considered by the Turk to be a noble action, one es- 
pecially befitting a dying man, who often frees his slaves in 
his testament. The enfranchisement of slaves was regarded 
by the Moslem as the highest act of virtue. 2 A less disin- 
terested form of enfranchisement has a pecuniary induce- 
ment, the slave buying his freedom from his master. 3 

1 D'Ohsson, op. cit., vol. iii, p. 142. 

2 Ameer Ali, op. cit., p. 256. 

8 " And unto such of your slaves as desire a written instrument 
allowing them to redeem themselves, or paying a certain sum, write 
one, if ye know good in them, and give them of the riches of God 
which he hath' given you." Koran (Sale's Trans.), Surah XXIV. 

Mohammed accepted the institution of slavery, but urged gentle- 
ness in dealing with the slave. Muir thus quotes a speech made by 
Mohammed in his last year at Mina: "And your slaves! See that ye 
feed them with such food as ye yourselves eat, and clothe them with 
the stuffs ye wear. And if they commit a fault which ye are not in- 
clined to forgive, then sell them, for they are the servants of the Lord, 
and not to be tormented." Muir, Life of Mahomet, p. 458. 

Cf. also Syed Ameer Ali, A Critical Examination of the Life and 



IBRAHIM'S RISE 



2 g 



Thus the slave never thought of himself as by nature 
servile, nor always to be a slave, but could look forward to 
his freedom in a few years more or less. This fact induced 
self-respect and hope. The slave's dress did not in any way 
distinguish him from the free man; he was in no way 
branded. 

Sir Henry Bulwer said of white slavery in Turkey in 
1850, " It greatly resembles adoption, and the children often 
become the first dignitaries of the Empire." * This state- 
ment is confirmed by Fatma Alieh Hannum, a living 
Turkish lady, who gives a most attractive picture of the 
home care and affection given to slaves, 2 and my own ob- 
servation of slavery in Constantinople would bear her out. 
The condition described by Bulwer would seem also to have 
obtained in the sixteenth century. George Young in his 
Corps de Droit Ottoman 5 speaks of two systems of slavery 
in Turkey, the Turkish system and the Circassian system, 
which have been fused in our day, but of which only the 
former existed in Ibrahim's day, and in contrasting them he 
says : " The Turkish system by its moderation scarcely went 
beyond the limits of apprenticeship, and could be classed 
with the voluntary servitude that for a determined time 
was permitted in some of the European colonies. While 
the Circassian system fixed the slave forever in the servile 
class, the Turkish system has always permitted and in some 

Teaching of Mohammed (London, 1873), chap, xv, p. 257. "The 
masters were forbidden to exact more work than was just and proper. 
They were ordered never to address their male and female slaves 
by that degrading appellation, but by. the more affectionate name of 
' my young man ' or ' my young maid '." 

1 Parliamentary Papers, Slave Trade, 1860, B. P., 130. Quoted by 
Young, op. cit., vol. ii, note, p. 167. 

1 Fatma Alieh Hanum, Les Muselmanes Contemporaines (1894, 
Paris). 
8 Young, op. cit., vol. i, note, p. 167. 



30 IBRAHIM PASHA 

cases prescribed his enfranchisement. Furthermore the so- 
cial situation of a slave under the Old Regime of the Empire 
favored his advancement even to the highest office .... 
The Turkish system made a career of slavery. . . . Many 
slaves by birth have played leading roles in the history of 
the Empire." The last statement admits of no argument, 
but the question how far the Turkish system made a career 
of slavery, and how far slavery was beneficent, demands 
further consideration. 

Let us return to the classes of slaves spoken of above. 
Some, we saw, were put into public works; these could 
have found no career in their forced labor, although they 
might have bought or otherwise earned their freedom, and 
then have made a career for themselves. Some were owned 
by private individuals where they were given no oppor- 
tunity to rise, although life in a private house, as in the 
case of the widow of Magnesia, might prepare a slave for 
a career. But the only slaves who would naturally have 
an opportunity for a career were those who served in the 
royal palace or in the house of some important officer. To 
them slavery truly opened a career. We cannot perhaps 
agree with Mr. Young that the Turkish system " made a 
career of slavery ", but it certainly was no barrier to a 
career, and it even opened up such opportunities as could 
not come otherwise to a Christian youth, nor indeed to most 
Moslem youths. 

The mild and even beneficent quality of Oriental slavery 
has been maintained by many writers. Busbequius, writing 
from Constantinople in Suleiman's reign, commends Turk- 
ish slavery on economic grounds, and then, moved by the 
contemplation of this fatherly system, bursts into a defence 
of slavery in general. 1 

1 " There are few Turkish beggars, for they which beg among Chris- 



IBRAHIM'S RISE 31 

Robert Roberts in his monograph says that the condition 
of slaves in modern Moslem lands is " not so bad ", and 
that the slavery he himself saw in Morocco "is only formally 
to be distinguished from Christian service". 1 The Baron 
de Tott speaks of seeing Moslem slaves in 1785 " well fed, 
well clothed, and well treated," and adds, " I am inclined 
to doubt if those even who are homesick have in general 
much reason to be satisfied with their ransom. It is possible 
in truth that the slaves sold into the interior parts of the 
country, or to individuals who purchase them on speculation, 
are not as happy as those who fall to the lot of the sovereign 
or the grandee. We may presume, however, that even the 
avarice of the master militates in their favor, for it must 
be confessed that the Europeans are the only people who 
ill-treat their slaves, which arises no doubt from this cause, 
that they constitute the wealth of the Orientals, and that 
with us they are means of amassing wealth. In the East 
they are the delight of the miser; with us they are only the 

tians are set to do servile offices among the Turks. If a slave become 
lame, his master is bound to support him, yet the veriest cripple 
among them brings his master some profit." 

We may omit Busbequius' advocacy of slavery. He continues later : 
"The Turks in their way do make a huge advantage of slaves; for 
if an ordinary Turk bring home one or two slaves, whom he has taken 
as prisoners of war, he accounts he hath made a good campaign of it, 
and his prize is worth his labor. An ordinary slave is sold among 
them for 40 to 50 crowns, but if he be young and beautiful and have 
some skill in some trade also, then they rate him as twice as much. 
By this you may know how advantageous the Turkish depredations 
are to them, when many times from one expedition they bring home 
five or six thousand prisoners." Ogier Ghiselin de Busbequius, Travels 
in Turkey, trans, into English, 1774. 

1 Snouck Hurgronje makes practically the same statement in his 
Mekka, vol. ii, p. 19 (Haag, 1889). " Alles in Allem ist der Zustand 
des Muslimisches Sklaven nur formell verschieden von dem der euro- 
paischen Diener und Arbeiter." 



32 



IBRAHIM PASHA 



instrument of avarice." x In interesting support of de 
Tbtt's idea that Oriental slaves might not care to be ran- 
somed is the fact that after the treaty of Carlowitz, when 
the Porte engaged to set European prisoners at liberty 
for a ransom, and did attempt to do so, there were a large 
number of captives who rejected their liberty and their 
fatherland. 2 

Perhaps the chief explanation of the lack of distinction 
between freeman and slave lay in the fact that the Turks had 
very little conception of freedom, and the man legally free 
was practically almost as bound as the slave. As we have 
seen in the introduction to this study, loyalty and obedience 
were the two great virtues in the eyes of the Turks, so that 
in the idea of service there was no degradation. All who 
served the Crown were called Kol, or slaves of the Sultan, 
even the grand vizir receiving this title, which was much 
more honorable than that of subject, the kol being able to 
insult the subject with impunity, while the latter could not 
injure a royal slave in the slightest degree without subject- 
ing himself to punishment. 8 Turkey was a land of slaves 
with but one master, the sultan, even the brothers and sons 
of the monarch being kept in durance for the greater part 
of their lives. In the case of women, no practical distinction 
that we should recognize existed between slave and free. 
The mother of the sultan was always a slave, one of the sul- 
tan's titles being "Son of a Slave". Most of the pashas were 
born of slave mothers, as the Turks had more children by 
their slaves than by their wives. 4 Such conditions rendered 
obviously impossible the sharp line which is drawn in the 

1 Memoirs of the Baron de Tott on The Turk and the Tartars, 
(trans, from the French, London, 1785), vol. ii, pp. 379-38o. 

1 D'Ohsson, op. cit., vol. iii, p. 38. 

3 M. le Chevalier Ricaut, Tableau de I' empire Ottoman (1709), vol. 
ii, chap, ii, p. 5. 

4 Alberi, III, 3, p. 95, note, Pietro Zen. 



IBRAHIM'S RISE 33 

West between the freeman and the despised slave, and 
placed the slave potentially with the highest of the land. 
Slavery was certainly the Greek Ibrahim's opportunity. 
Slavery brought him into the court, placed him before the 
sultan, educated him, gave him ambition, and finally grati- 
fied it. When Ibrahim was freed, no one thinks it worth 
while to record; certainly before his marriage, perhaps 
much before. But evidently the moment when Suleiman 
said to him : " Thou art enfranchised, thou art free " 1 was 
a moment not worth recording, so natural and inevitable 
was his enfranchisement the moment that slavery ceased to 
be the ladder of his advancement. 

It is evident, then, that Ibrahim's lowly birth, his Christian 
origin, his experience as a slave, and his being a eunuch were 
none of them barriers to a great career. What was there, 
on the other hand, to give him such a career? His extra- 
ordinary ambition, his marked ability, and above all his im- 
mense good-fortune in falling into the hands of the sultan 
and winning his affection, so that Suleiman was dominated 
by his love for Ibrahim, and unable to resist any of his 
caprices ; 2 these were the prime factors in his extraordinary 
rise. 

While still master of the household (khass-oda-bashi) he 
was often spoken of as " Ibrahim the Magnificent " by the 
Venetian baillies. Barbarigo relates that the serai was 
never so splendid as in the days when the magnificent Ibra- 
him was oda-bashi of the Grand Seigneur, and also when 
he was grand chamberlain. As the title of " the Magni- 
ficent " is that which Europe has accorded to Sultan Sulei- 
man, a love of pomp and display must have been one of the 
interests that he and his ennobled slave had in common. 

1 The formula of enfranchisement. D'Ohsson, op. cit., vol. iii, p. 
143- 

2 Alberi, III, 3, p. 95, note, Pietro Zen. 



34 IBRAHIM PASHA [ I4O 

But such showy qualities are hardly suitable to a mere 
master of the household. Ibrahim had to be raised to the 
rank of pasha. 

A pasha was a sort of military governor, although the 
title might be given as a mere title of nobility, and in any 
case was indefinite, being determined by the particular 
office the pasha held. The pashas were generally very proud 
and stately persons, with grave, leisurely manners, and were 
always surrounded by a large number of pages and other 
richly-garbed domestics when they went abroad mounted 
on superb steeds, banners and horse-tails waving before 
them, and the people paying homage. But their power was 
often very small, and their income frequently quite inade- 
quate to the state they were obliged to maintain. 1 

The famous horse-tail banner which distinguished a high 
official originated in the following way : the banner of one 
of the old Turkish princes having been lost in battle and 
with it the courage of his soldiers, he severed with one blow 
a horse's tail from its body and fastening it to his lance 
cried, " Behold my banner! who loves me will follow me!" 
The Turks rallied and saved the day. 2 The banner was 
called the Tugh. Each sandjak bey was entitled to one 
horse-tail, being, as Europeans say " a pasha of one tail " ; a 
beylerbey (literally prince of princes or colonel of colonels) 
was entitled to two or three tails; the grand vizir sported 
five horse-tails, and before the Sultan seven of these banners 
were carried. 

In 1522 Ibrahim became Ibrahim Pasha, Grand Vizir, 
and Beylerbey of Roumelie. Turkey has always been 
divided into Turkey in Europe, or Roumelie or Roum, 3 and 

1 Marsigli, Stato Militare dell, Imperio Ottomano (1732), vol. i. 
2 Alberi III, i, p. n. Danielo di Ludovisi. 

1 Roum means Roman, from the [Roman or Byzantine empire whose 
territory had largely passed to Turkey. 



I4 i] IBRAHIM'S RISE 35 

Turkey in Asia, or Anatolia. These two divisions of the 
empire during Suleiman's reign were each ruled by a gov- 
ernor, or beylerbey, who had general charge of the sand- 
jakbeys over each sandjak 1 or province. The beylerbeys 
of Roumelie generally resided at Monastir or Sofia, but here 
again Ibrahim seems to have been an exception to the gen- 
eral rule and to have resided at Constantinople. 

The office of vizir was a venerable one, its institution be- 
ing ascribed by some to the Prophet, who appointed as first 
vizir AH, his son-in-law and successor, and by others to the 
first Abasside, who bestowed the title on his first minister. 
The duties of vizir in the sixteenth century have been de- 
fined as follows : 2 " The vizir commands all the armies, is 
the only one except the Grand Seigneur who has the power 
of life and death throughout the whole extent of the Empire 
over criminals, and can nominate, degrade, and execute all 
ministers and agents of the sovereign authority. He pro- 
mulgates all the new laws, and causes them to be put in 
effect. He is the supreme head of the justice that he ad- 
ministers, although with the aid and according to the opinion 
of the Ulema, the legal body. In short, he represents his 
master to the full extent of his dignity and temporal power, 
not only in the Empire, but also with the Foreign States. 
But to the same degree that this power is splendid and ex- 
tensive, it is dangerous and precarious." 

Mourad I (1359-1389) was the first sultan of Turkey to 
name a vizir. Mohammed the Conqueror thought the office 
concentrated too much power in one person, and planned to. 
abolish it, but instead left it vacant for eight months. 3 

1 Sandjak is literally banner. 

2 Juchereau de Saint Denis, quoted by Ludovisi. 

3 Albrecht, Grundriss des osmanischen Staatsrechts, p. 68. Also von 
Hammer, p. 166. 



36 IBRAHIM PASHA [ I42 

Selim I, as strong a monarch as the Conqueror, left vacant 
for nine months this office which almost rendered a sultan 
unnecessary. But his son Suleiman soon after his accession 
put his favorite Ibrahim into the highest office in a sultan's 
gift, and kept him there thirteen years. Probably with the 
idea of dividing the immense power of this office, he in- 
creased the number of vizirs to three and later to tour. Of 
these one was known as the grand vizir (Vizir Azam) and 
to him alone applies the description given above. Ibrahim 
Pasha was at first the third vizir, the other two being Piri 
Mustafa Pasha and Ahmed Pasha. There was always great 
jealousy among the vizirs. Ahmed Pasha, anxious to rise 
to the first rank, accused Piri Pasha of sedition and procured 
the latter's downfall; but to his inexpressible chagrin was 
himself passed over in favor of Ibrahim, who was " told the 
good news of his appointment as grand vizir and brought 
gladness and brilliance into the divan." 1 Ahmed's feeling 
was so great and the consequent dissensions in the divan 
were so considerable, that Suleiman sent Ahmed to Egypt 
as governor, leaving the field clear for Ibrahim, who in his 
palace received at the hands of a noble of the sultan's service 
the imperial ring as a symbol of his new power. 

The grand vizir lived in a palace modeled after the Sultan's, 
having under him the same class of officials and servants 
even to ministers of state, and his household was conducted 
with great ceremony. Ibrahim's salary was increased over 
that of the preceding grand vizir from 16,000 to 25.000 
piastres 2 but he obtained much more from the disposal of 
public offices, and he also received enormous presents from 
those under him, although this was balanced by the large 
gifts he had to make to others. The property oi a grand 

1 Petchevi, Tarih Osmanieh, vol. i, p. 79. 

J A piastre was about 89 cents in that century. 



IBRAHIM'S RISE 37 

vizir was always confiscated at his death, which was doubt- 
less one reason why a sultan could afford to lavish so much 
on a favorite minister, knowing that eventually it would all 
return to the imperial coffers. Dress and style were very 
carefully regulated in Turkey in the XVI century. The tur- 
ban of the grand vizir, his barge with twelve pairs of oars 
and a green awning, the five horse-tails that might be carried 
before him, all distinguished him from lower officials. He 
had eight guards of honor, and twelve led horses. When 
he appeared in public his hussars would cry aloud, " Peace 
unto you and divine clemence ", while the other soldiers re- 
sponded in chorus, " May your fortunes be propitious ; may 
Allah be your aid; may the Almighty protect the days of 
our'sovereign and the pasha, our master ; may they live long 
and happily." * All of the public officials except the sheik- 
ul-Islam received their offices from the grand vizir, and were 
garbed in his presence with a caftan, or robe of state. The 
grand vizir and the sheik-ul-Islam were the only officials 
invested by the sultan himself and appointed for life. 

The divan was the imperial council, consisting of the 
vizirs, the defterdar, or secretary of finance, the nishanji 
who made out royal firmans and berats, and the sheik-ul- 
Islam or head of Islam. It was a council for discussion and 
wholly without power. 

On the 22d day of May, 1524, the Sultan celebrated with 
great pomp the marriage of Ibrahim Pasha. Who the bride 
was we cannot be certain, but this is in accord with Turkish 
etiquette which strictly forbids all mention of the harem, 2 
and considers any public knowledge of woman as an insult 
to her, thus depriving historians of desirable information 
concerning such important political figures as Roxelana, who 

1 D'Ohsson, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 337- 

1 Harem means set apart, sacred, or accursed-taboo, and is a term 
applied to the women of a Moslem household. 



38 IBRAHIM PASHA [ I44 

greatly influenced Suleiman the Magnificent, Baffa the Vene- 
tian sultana, and others. Von Hammer says that Ibrahim 
married a sister of Suleiman, but I can find no proof of it. 1 
A wedding in Turkey always includes two distinct feasts, 
the one for the bride and her women friends, the other for 
the groom and his men friends. Now-a-days the woman's 
part is ordinarily more important, but in Ibrahim's time a 
wedding or a circumcision was the occasion of a great public 
feast for the men. Ibrahim Pasha, as we have seen, was 
always spoken of by the Venetians as " II Magnifico Ibra- 
him." Perhaps since so much stress has been laid by his- 
torians on the splendor of the court and the grand vizir, a 
description of this great public marriage will not be out of 
order. 2 

The feast or series of feasts was held in the Hippodrome, 
a great piazza being erected near Agia Sophia from which 
the sultan might view all the proceedings. Here was set 
up the Blessed Throne of Felicity, adorned with pre- 
cious gold embroidery and rich velvets, while in the Hippo- 
drome below, artistic, vari-colored tents were set up, and 
carpets of gold thread were spread over the ground. 
Terraces and canopies and pavilions for the nobles were 

1 Cf. also 'Cantimir, " Suleiman gave Ibrahim his sister in marriage." 
Jorga on the other hand says that Ibrahim married a daughter of 
Iskender Chelebi, but I have seen no such statement elsewhere, ex- 
cept the following ambiguous statement in Solakzadeh : " Between 
Iskender and Ibrahim Pasha the relation of father and son existed." 
P. 478. Abdulrahman Sheref writes in his Tarih Osmanieh, "'Some 
historians say that Ibrahim was brother-in-law to the Sultan." Pet- 
chevi and the Venetian Baillies Bragadino and Pietro Zen, while 
giving detailed accounts of the wedding feast say nothing of the 
bride. 

2 For accounts see Petchevi, op. cit., vol. i, pp. 79 et seq.; Solakzadeh, 
op. cit.; Marini Sanuto, op. cit., vol. 36, pp. 505 et seq., with refer- 
ences passim. Also von Hammer, op. cit., vol. v, pp. 52 et seq., and 
Cantimir, op. cit. 



145] IBRAHIM'S RISE 39 

raised above the ground, but below the sultan's terrace. 
Hangings of velvet and satin covered the grey walls of the 
buildings surrounding the Hippodrome. 1 The second vizir, 
Ayas Pasha, and the agha of the janissaries went to the 
palace to invite the sultan to honor the feast by his pres- 
ence. Suleiman received them graciously, delivered a pomp- 
ous eulogy upon Ibrahim, and made them rich presents. 

To the first banquet " all the world " was invited ; 2 the 
seven that followed were given to various branches of the 
army, there being very splendid feasts to the janissaries, 
vizirs, beylerbeys and sandjakbeys. To the first feast came 
Ayas Pasha and the agha of the janissaries, escorted by a 
troop of slaves. When they reached Bab-el-Saadet, that 
gate of the city leading from the Seraglio grounds to the 
space before the Agia Sophia, they met the glorious sul- 
tan " whose throne is in the heavens." His escort bore 
scarlet banners and carried robes of honor with which they 
garbed those who had come to meet them, and they led, 
also richly caparisoned steeds to present to Ayas Pasha and 
his two followers, for which, says Solakzadeh, " there was 
limitless thanks." 

On the ninth day, the eve of that on which the bride would 
be brought from the palace, Ayas Pasha and the other 
vizirs, and the defterdar, and the agha of the janissaries 
sought the bridegroom and led him through the streets of 
Stamboul in gorgeous procession. From the Bab-i-Huma- 

1 " Ed in quella ne sono distesi molti pavioni, tra li qual quello del 
Gran signer, uno che fo de Uson Cassan, che fu quello quando 1'ebbe 
la rotta da sultan Machmet, 1'altro del signer Sophi, che fu aquistado 
da sultan Selim, 1'altro del sultan Elgauri, conquistado pur per el 
ditto sultan Selim. Quanto siano di richezza e di magnificentia et 
bellezza bisogneria con el penello in longo tempo farla, et si haveria 
fatica per la gran superbia et valuta e in quelli." Marini Sanuto, 
op. cit., vol. xxxvi, p. 505. 

1 Tutta la terra. Marino Sanuto, op. cit., vol. xxxvi, p. 505. 



40 IBRAHIM PASHA [ I4 6 

youn (The Sublime Porte) to the Hippodrome the streets 
" were full of pleasure from end to end," all hung with 
silks of Broussa and velvets of Damascus, through which 
passed the ranks of the janissaries and the vizir who thus 
honored Ibrahim Pasha. 

Ibrahim was a lean, dark man, slight in stature and bear- 
ing himself gracefully in his cloth-of-gold robes. 1 He was 
escorted by brilliant officers on prancing steeds. There is 
no finer setting for a procession than the grey streets of 
Stamboul under the vivid Southern sky. When the pro- 
cession approached the sultan's throne, the dignitaries of 
the state and the nobles of the Empire, approaching on foot 
over the richly carpeted street, fell on their faces before his 
Majesty. 

" This day they enjoyed riches and booty and sumptuous- 
ness without end ". " Especially were the people charmed 
with the sounds of rejoicing flutes and trumpets, whose 
music rose from earth to the first heaven ". The wise ulema 
and sheiks were present on this occasion, the sultan seating 
on his right the venerated Mufti Ali Djemali and on his left 
the great hodja (teacher) of the princes, while other learned 
doctors were arranged confronting the Imperial Majesty. 
The sultan presided over a learned discussion of the verse 
from the Koran, " O David, I will make thee Caliph in 
the world ", a sufficiently courtly text. The meaning Avas 
discussed and questions were propounded and answered. 
After this literary episode, knights-at-arms, wrestlers and 
other athletes displayed their skill. Then a rich feast was 
served and Mehmet Chelebi had the honor of presenting to the 
sultan sherbet in a priceless cup cut from a single turquoise, 
a souvenir of Persian victories, and the pride of the nation. 
Others drank their sherbet from goblets of china, then a 

1 Marino Sanuto, vol. xli, p. 526. 



IBRAHIM'S RISE 



4! 



rare and valuable ware. Food was served to the sultan and 
the ulema on silver trays, 1 and each of the guests took away 
with him a tray of sweetmeats. From evening to morning 
fireworks and illuminations lit up the city, and were re- 
flected in the Bosphorus and Marmora. On his return to 
the palace Suleiman was informed of the birth of a son, 
who afterwards became Selim II. 

The wedding was followed by several days of dancing, 
races, contests of wrestlers and archers, as well as poetic 
contests in honor of the newly-wedded couple. Such was a 
public festival in the city of the sultan in the days of the 
magnificent Suleiman. It reminds us of the Field of the 
Cloth of Gold, whose splendor delighted the French and 
the English in this same quarter century, the most striking 
difference being the literary side which the Turkish festival 
possessed and the European lacked. 

Solakzadeh tells an interesting anecdote in connection 
with another great feast, that of the circumcision of Sulei- 
man's three sons. 2 This was also a very splendid function 
and Suleiman is said to have asked Ibrahim in pride, whose 
feast had been the finer, Ibrahim's or that of his sons. Ibra- 
him replied : " There has never been a feast equal to my 
wedding." Suleiman, somewhat disconcerted, enquired how 
that was, to which Ibrahim gave the following courtly an- 
swer : " O my Padisha, my wedding was honored by the 
presence of Suleiman, Lord of the Age, firm Rampart of 
Islam, Possessor of Mecca and Medina, Lord of Damascus 
and Egypt, Caliph of the Lofty Threshold, and Lord of the 
Residence of the Pleiades: but to your festival, who was 

1 Until the introduction of tables from the West, and to this day in 
certain houses, Turkish meals are served on large trays placed on 
stools. 

3 Von Hammer says that AH also tells this story, but that the other 
Turkish historians omit it. Op. cit., vol. v, note, p. 145. 



42 



IBRAHIM PASHA 



there of equally exalted rank who might come?" The 
padisha, greatly delighted, said, "A thousand bravas to thee, 
Ibrahim, who hast explained it so satisfactorily." 

Of Ibrahim's relations to the sultan a good deal has been 
said. He was brought up in close contact with his master, 
eating and sleeping with him. They often changed gar- 
ments and Ibrahim told an Austrian ambassador that the 
sultan never ordered garments for himself without ordering 
the same for his favorite. The Venetians spoke of seeing 
the two friends taking pleasure rides together in a caique, 
and visiting what shores they pleased. 

Ibrahim was said to exert such an influence on the sultan 
that the latter could deny him nothing, and from the time 
that he became grand vizir, he almost took over the sover- 
eignty of the land : as von Hammer says, " from this time 
he divided the absolute power with Suleiman ". In becom- 
ing grand vizir and presiding over the divan, Ibrahim oc- 
cupied the highest position open to any except a member of 
the imperial Ottoman family. Here the romantic story 
of his rise merges into the account of his public career, and 
this in its turn is a part of Turkish and South European 
history. 



CHAPTER II 
IBRAHIM THE ADMINISTRATOR 

AFTER 1522 Ibrahim Pasha combined in his person the 
highest administrative, diplomatic and military functions. 
Although these naturally interact, it is our plan to consider 
them separately, first taking up Ibrahim's administrative 
work. 

We have seen that Ahmed Pasha, second vizir, was sent 
to Egypt when Ibrahim climbed over him to the grand viz- 
erate. Ahmed's indignation at the treatment accorded him 
by Suleiman led him into treachery; he attempted to usurp 
the sovereignty of Egypt. Intrigues failing of success he 
openly threw off his allegiance to the sultan, and attacked 
Cairo, capturing the fortress. This threw Alexandria and 
the coast into his power, and he proclaimed himself sultan. 1 

This revolt of Ahmed Pasha has all the features of the 
typical revolt against Turkish authority: the sudden dis- 
grace of an official high in power, his banishment under the 
name of change of office, a tampering with the loyalty of 
the troops of the province (in this case the Mamelukes), a 
conflict with the loyal janissaries, sudden success, betrayal, 
a rapid fall and a sudden punishment, ending in the tri- 
umph of absolutism. The same story with change of names 
is told a hundred times in Turkish chronicles. The only 
way in which Suleiman differed from most of the sultans 
under such circumstances was that he recognized the need 
of a reorganization of the revolted province and sent the 
grand vizir to effect it. 

1 Petchevi, Tarih Osmanieh, p. 93. 
149] 43 



44 



IBRAHIM PASHA 



Four months after his marriage Ibrahim Pasha was sent 
to Egypt with a fleet and an army to settle the new governor 
in Cairo and to reestablish the former legislation of the 
country. 1 The Turkish historians 2 give much space to the 
splendid state in which Ibrahim left the Porte and the un- 
paralleled honor paid him by the company of Sultan Sulei- 
man as far as the Princes Isles, and also to the difficulties 
of the voyage, interrupted several times by storms. The 
last part of the journey was made overland, Ibrahim visit- 
ing Aleppo and Damascus, where he put the terror of the 
sultan into the beylerbeys, who had been forgetting all but 
their own interests. Throughout the journey, the grand 
vizir received complaints and rendered justice, earning the 
blessings of the people whom he visited. 3 

The arrival of the imperial mission in Cairo was marked 
by great ceremony, the Mamelukes showing themselves as 
splendid in all their appointments as were the Ottomans. 
"All the people of Egypt came to meet Ibrahim Pasha," 
declares Solakzadeh, " each one according to his rank be- 
ing garbed in a robe of honor, and from the forts guns 
sounded, and fetes and rejoicings were held." 

Ibrahim Pasha spent three months in Egypt, actively en- 

1 Souheila, in his History of Egypt (Misr), says that Suleiman orig- 
inally planned to go himself to Egypt, but that the grand vizir said, 
" If it be the glorious command of the just king, we are sufficient for 
the service," whereupon he was appointed chief of the expedition. 

2 Petchevi, Sadullah Said, and Solakzadeh who was present on the 
expedition, and following them, Djelalzadeh and Abdulrahman Sheref. 
As I have been unable to obtain a copy of Djelalzadeh, I am obliged 
to depend on Von Hammer's quotations from his history. 

8 " In Aleppo and Damascus, with justice and equity he destroyed 
the standards of revolt raised by villains." Soleyman Nameh, by Sadul- 
lah Said Effendi. 

" In the province of Aleppo were some who wished redress, from 
whom he removed oppression and tyranny." Solakzadeh, op. cit. Cf. 
also von Hammer, op. cit., vol. v, p. 57. 



IBRAHIM THE ADMINISTRATOR 



45 



gaged in improving the condition of that province, which 
he found " ailing, but amenable to the skill and zeal of a 
clever doctor." 1 The first move was to punish those who 
had assisted Ahmed Pasha in his treachery, several Arab 
chiefs being publicly hanged, so that the Arab people " be- 
gan to weep for fear." 2 Ibrahim next relieved many in- 
dividuals who suffered under injustice, receiving in person 
crowds of petitioners, and relieving as many as possible. 
Among these acts of mercy were the release of 300 debtors 
from prison and the satisfaction of their creditors. 3 He 
improved the appearance of Cairo by restoring several build- 
ings that had fallen into disrepair, particularly mosques and 
schools, and also built some new ones at his own expense. 
To erect such buildings has always been considered an 
act of piety, so that sultans, vizirs, and even the favor- 
ites of sultans have acquired merit in this fashion, as the 
numerous mosques and religious foundations of Turkey 
testify. Ibraham was thus following the usual custom. He 
further drew up some rules for education, and for the care 
of orphans. 4 But the two main accomplishments of Ibra- 
him's sojourn in Egypt were the reestablishment of the law 
and the placing of the treasury on a better basis. Ahmed 
Pasha, and probably several of his predecessors, had ignored 
and weakened the law of the land, which Ibrahim under- 
took to restore. He enforced the local laws and also some 
of the general Koranic laws which had been neglected ; but 
he seems to have moderated and lightened them to suit the 
needs and desires of the people, " for " says Solakzadeh, 
uttering a sentiment so tin-Turkish that one is inclined to at- 

1 Sadullah Said, op. cit. 

* Sadullah Said. 

* Sadullah Said, Solakzadeh. 
Solakzadeh. 



46 IBRAHIM PASHA 

tribute it to the Greek vizir rather than to the Ottoman 
chronicler, " the best things are the golden mean." He 
further states that the ideal striven for was uniform rule 
for all the inhabitants of Egypt. 1 

The province was a rich one even before the days of great 
dams, and one of the most important of the grand vizir's 
duties was to see that the taxes were properly gathered and 
placed in the treasury at Cairo, and that a suitable tribute 
was sent annually to the Porte. Ibrahim built two great 
towers to contain the treasure. With Ibrahim Pasha on 
this expedition was the Imperial defterdar or treasurer, 
Iskender Chelebi, who calculated that Egypt could pay an- 
nually 80,000 ducats to the Porte, after deducting the cost 
of administration. 2 Ibrahim's final act in Egypt was to 
appoint Suleiman Pasha, the Beylerbey of Damascus to the 
office of governor of Egypt. He seems to have chosen this 
man for his economical disposition, for Solakzadeh says 
"he watched, and shut his eyes to those who desired to spend 
money, and then appointed Suleiman Pasha." 

Called back to the Porte by a Hatt-i-humayoun, he left 
Egypt with her revolt quieted, her mutineers punished, her 
oppressed temporarily relieved, her city improved, her law 
reestablished, and her finances arranged quite satisfactorily 
to the Porte, if not to herself. Ibrahim showed himself 
clear, forceful, just and merciful, if not a great constructive 
statesman. He took back to Stamboul a large sum in gold 
for the Imperial treasury, and was received by Suleiman 
with great honor. 3 

1 Solakzadeh. 2 Solakzadeh. Petchevi. 

* " By letters from Constantinople we are informed that within a 
fortnight the Magnifico Ibrahim Pasha was expected from Cairo with 
a large sum of gold. The Grand Turk has ordered him an honorable 
reception in a new and unusual form." The Doge and College to 
Lorenzo Orio in England, Sept. 18, 1525. Brown's Calendar of State 
Papers in Venice, 1520-1526, 1114. 



IBRAHIM THE ADMINISTRATOR 47 

The recall of Ibrahim Pasha was induced by an insurrec- 
tion of the janissaries who were tired of inactivity, and 
showed their restlessness by pillaging the houses of the 
absent grand vizir and defterdar, and several rich institu- 
tions. Suleiman promptly executed several of the most au- 
dacious leaders, then sent for Ibrahim Pasha to come and 
deal with the situation. Clothing himself in mourning 
garments, Ibrahim hastened back to the capital On the 
way he executed a number of Persian prisoners in Gallipoli, 
for the Sultan had determined to quiet the janissaries by 
the only effective means, namely to offer them a chance for 
fighting and loot by making war against the most convenient 
enemy, which in this case was Persia. 

Of the war we speak elsewhere. Suffice it to say that 
from this time on, Ibrahim was so occupied in war and 
diplomacy that his administrative functions must have been 
delegated largely to lower officials. His power, notwith- 
standing, was very great, as will be seen from the berat of 
investiture bestowed on him by the Sultan before the cam- 
paign of Vienna, which is substantially as follows: 

" I command Ibrahim Pasha to be from today and for- 
ever my grand vizir and the serasker (chief of the army) 
named by my Majesty in all my estates. My vizirs, bey- 
lerbeys, judges of the army, legists, judges, seids, sheiks, 
my dignitaries of the court and pillars of the empire, sand- 
jakbeys, generals of cavalry or infantry, . . . all my vic- 
torious army, all my slaves, high or low, my functionaries 
and employees, the people of my kingdom, my provinces, 
the citizens and the peasants, the rich and the poor, in short 
all shall recognize the above-mentioned grand vizir as ser- 
asker, and shall esteem and venerate him in this capacity, 
regarding all that he says or believes as an order proceed- 
ing from my mouth which rains pearls. Everyone shall 
listen to his word with all possible attention, shall receive 



4 g IBRAHIM PASHA 

each of his recommendations with respect, and shall not 
neglect any of them. The right of nomination and degrada- 
tion for the posts of beylerbeys and all other dignitaries 
and functionaries, from highest to lowest, either at my 
Blessed Porte or in the provinces, is confined to his sane 
judgment, his penetrating intellect. Thus he mus: fulfil the 
duties which the offices of grand vizir and serasker impose 
on him, assigning to each man his suitable rank. When 
my sublime person enters on a campaign, or when cir- 
cumstances demand the sending of an army, the serasker re- 
mains sole master and judge of his actions, no one dare re- 
fuse him obedience, and the dispositions which he judges 
best to make relative to the collections in the sandjaks, 
the fiefs and the employments, to the increase of wages or 
salaries, to the distribution of presents, except such as are 
made to the army in general, are in advance sanctioned and 
approved by my Majesty. If against my sublime order 
and the fundamental law a member of my army (which 
Allah forbid !) rebel against the order of my grand vizir and 
serasker; if one of my slaves oppress the people, let my 
Sublime Porte be immediately informed, and the guilty, 
whatever be their number, shall receive the punishment 
which they shall merit." * 

This amazing gift of power brings out some characteris- 
tics of the Ottoman state. There is no state, as such, apart 
from the army. All the civil offices have military names, 
and generally include military duties. It has often been 
said that the Turkish empire is an army encamped in 
Europe, an epigram that conveys much truth. The church, 
the state, and the army are one and the sultan is the head 
of the trinity. 2 To Ibrahim were delegated full powers as 

1 Djelalzadeh, translated and quoted by von Hammer. 

2 Of course, since July, 1908, the whole idea of the Ottoman state has 



IBRAHIM THE ADMINISTRATOR 49 

general and administrator, but he had no sacerdotal power 
except such as was involved in the general power of ap- 
pointment and supervision. It follows that he did not 
appoint the sheik-ul-Islam, and had no special dealings with 
ulema. 1 But curiously enough one of the few events of 
his administration of which we have an account is con- 
nected with religious interests. It is the Cabyz affair. 

Cabyz was a member of the body of ulema, or interpreters 
of the sacred law, who became convinced of the superiority 
of Jesus to Mohammad, hence was a traitor both to Allah 
and to the sultan. " He fell in to the valley of error and 
took the route of destruction and danger, deviating from 
the glorious path of truth." 2 Haled before the judges of 
the army, Cabyz was summarily condemned to death, with 
no attempt to convince him of his error. The grand vizir 
reproved them for this unsuitable treatment of a heretic, 
saying that the only arms against heresy should be law 
and doctrine. The affair being therefore laid before the 
divan, the sultan who was present behind his little window 
was dissatisfied with the clemency of Ibrahim, perhaps be- 
cause the latter was Christian born, although now a zealous 
Moslem. 

" How is this " he demanded, " an irreligious infidel dares 
to ascribe deficiency to the Blessed Prophet, and he goes 
without being convinced of his error or punished ?" Ibrahim 
claimed that the judges lacked the knowledge of the sacred 
law necessary to deal with the case. So the judge of Stam- 
boul and the Mufti were called in and after a long discussion 
Cabyz' " tongue was stopped and he lowered his head." 
Cabyz was condemned by the sacred law and executed. 

changed, although the military titles remain ; indeed since the reforms 
of 1836 the above description has only in part held true. These general 
statements may be understood to refer to Turkey from 1453 to 1836. 

1 The ulema were the doctors of sacred law and jurisprudence. 

1 This account taken from Solakzadeh, op. cit. 



50 IBRAHIM PASHA 

This case in which a heretic was first brought before the 
judges of the army and then before the council of state be- 
fore he was finally condemned by the religious law, shows 
the awkward working of a state whose functions were so 
slightly differentiated. Perhaps the easiest way to think of 
the grand vizir is at the alter ego of the sultan, as he has 
been called. 1 

For details of Ibrahim's official work we have a bit here 
and a bit there, but no general account. He seems to 
have been zealous in the cause of commerce, out of which 
he made a considerable profit. He established a monopoly 
of Syrian commerce afterwards taken over by the sultan, 2 
and caused all the trade of that country to pass through Con- 
stantinople. 3 He encouraged trade with Venice, freeing 
that country from payment of duty on merchandize, brought 
from Syria. 4 He was always a friend to Venice, helping 
her trade and keeping the Porte from war with her as long 
as he lived. 5 

From the Venetian reports we see how general Ibrahim's 
interests were ; 6 now he is looking after the corn trade, now 
receiving cargoes of biscuits, now concerning himself in 
the building of a canal, now opening new trade routes, now 
watching the coming of new vessels to the Porte. The trade 
of the Dalmatian coast he encouraged. As beylerbey of 

1 Albrecht, W. Grundriss des Osmanischen Staatsrechts (Berlin, 
1905), p. 68. 

2 Guillaume Postel, La Republique des Turcs, p. 49. 

8 Daru, Histoire de Venise, quoted by Zeller, op. cit., note p. 204. 
* Charriere, op. cit., vol. i, p. 486. 

5 Pietro Zen said Ibrahim had been a Venetian subject. Alberi, III, 
also Bragadino, Marini Sanuto, vol. 41, p. 527, wrote : " Questo bassa e 
molto amico di la Signoria nostra, homo iusto et savio; ha cassa zoie 
portade dal Cayro oltra il bel presente fece al Signore, come scrisse." 

6 Marini Sanuto, op. cit. passim. 



IBRAHIM THE ADMINISTRATOR 51 

Roumelie he would be most interested in the European trade 
and other relations. The export and import trade of 
Turkey was scarcely born in his day, although the Muscovy 
and other trading companies were beginning to ask for 
concessions in the Ottoman dominions. Ibrahim's ideas on 
this subject were not great nor especially in advance of his 
time. 

In his quality as judge, he settled disputes and arranged 
wills to the apparent satisfaction of the interested parties. 
Every envoy to the Porte, whether on state, commercial, or 
personal business, was first presented to the grand vizir, who 
might take complete charge of his affair, or he might refer 
him to the sultan. The grand vizir received in great state 
and the Venetian letters are full of advice as to how to con- 
ciliate the great minister. There seems to be little disagree- 
ment among his critics as to Ibrahim's ability. He is pro- 
nounced by all to be a wise and able man; but he had at 
least one severe critic among the Venetians, who felt that 
his power was too arbitrary. Daniello di Ludovisi in 1534 
wrote thus : 1 

Suleiman gave his administration of the empire into the 
hands of another. The sultan, with all the pashas and all the 
court, would conduct no important deliberation without Ibra- 
him Pasha, while Ibrahim would do everything without Sulei- 
man or any other advisor. So the state lacked good council, 
and the army good heads. Suleiman's affection for Ibrahim 
should not be praised, but blamed. 

And again : 

Another evil existed in the Turkish army, and was caused, 
first, by the negligence of the sultan (who, to tell the truth, is 
not of such ability as the greatness of the empire demands), 

1 Alberi, III, i, p. 28. 



52 



IBRAHIM PASHA 



and secondly, by the actions of Ibrahim Pasha, who by the 
same means as those used to raise and maintain himself 
namely, to degrade, and even to kill, all whose ability aroused 
his suspicion deprived the state of men of good council and 
the army of good captains. 

For instance, he decapitated Ferad Pasha, a valiant captain, 
and was the cause of the rebellion of Ahmed Pasha, who was 
beheaded at Cairo, and he caused Piri Pasha to leave office, an 
old man and an old councillor, and some even accused him of 
causing his death by poison. And it followed, also, that Rus- 
tem, a young fellow, master of the stables of the Grand Seig- 
neur, became familiar with the latter, and Ibrahim, warned of 
this, and being then in Aleppo, sent him to be governor in Asia 
Minor, a long distance away. Rustem, feeling very badly, 
asked the Grand Seigneur not to let him go, who replied, 
" When I see Ibrahim, I will see that he causes you to return 
near me." For this reason the army was without council ex- 
cept Ibrahim alone, and men of learning and force, from fear 
and suspicion, hid their knowledge and ability. So the army 
was demoralized and enervated. I feel certain that Ibrahim 
Pasha realized this (for he was a man of good parts, but not 
of such merit as to find a remedy for such evils), but he loved 
himself much more than he did his lord, and wished to be alone 
in the dominion of the world in which he was much respected. 

This criticism of Ibrahim Pasha was later repeated in a 
more general form by one Kogabey, who presented to Sultan 
Mourad IV a memorial on the decadence of the Ottoman 
state. The two first reasons that he assigned for the deteri- 
oration were the sultan's ceasing to preside over the divan in 
person, and the placing of favorites in the office of grand 
vizir, the latter custom having been started by Suleiman I, 
who raised his favorite Ibrahim from the palace to the divan. 
Such vizirs, Kogabey explained, had no insight into the cir- 
cumstances of the whole nation. They generally were 
blinded by the splendor of their position and refused to 



159] IBRAHIM THE ADMINISTRATOR 53 

consult intelligent men on affairs of government, and so the 
order of the state was destroyed through their carelessness. 1 
The custom of appointing favorites to the most important 
office in the empire was certainly a bad one, but Ibrahim was 
a more efficient administrator than could have been expected 
from his training, and ranks among the great vizirs of the 
Ottoman Empire. 

1 Kogabey, "Abhandlung uber den Verfall des osmanischen Staats- 
gebaudes sett Sultan Suleiman dent Grossen." Trans, by Behrman, 
Zeitschrift tier Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft, vol. 15, p. 319. 



CHAPTER III 

IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 

WE must now turn from Turkey's internal affairs to her 
foreign relations. Turkish political history during the six- 
teenth century was so interwoven with that of the European 
states, the influence of Ottoman interference upon the wars 
and negotiations of Christian princes was so marked, that 
a study of Suleiman's foreign relations becomes almost a 
study of contemporary Europe. 1 The two sultans who suc- 
ceeded Mohammed the Conqueror had not extended Turkish 
power in Europe, Bayazid having failed in his attempts at 
conquest, and Selim having turned his attention from Europe 
to the East. This caused a period of transition and pre- 
paration for the great events of Suleiman's reign. 

When Suleiman came to the throne, he found certain re- 
lations established with Ragusa and Venice, the two com- 
mercial cities of the Adriatic, whose large carrying trade 
made an entente cordiale with the Porte very desirable. 2 

1 On a peine a representer devant un etat descendu a un rang infe- 
rieur et devenu la jouet de la politique des autres puissances cette 
action illimitee qu'il exerc.ait dans les affaires de 1'Europe, et qui, a 
chaque mouvement de cette empire semblait mettre en question 1'exist- 
ence de Christianisme et celle de la societe europeene tout entiere." E. 
Charrieres, Negotiations de la France dans le Levant (Paris, 1848), vol. 
Hi, Introduction. 

2 Noradunghian (Actes Internationaux de I'Empire Ottoman), in his 
Repertoire Chronologique, records treaties with Ragusa before Sulei- 
man's accession, and two in 1520, all offering Turkish protection in 
exchange for tribute. 

54 [160 



161] IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 55 

Ragusa was the first foreign state to reach the new sultan 
with her congratulations on his accession, 1 and the sultan 
renewed with the Ragusan republic the commercial privi- 
leges it had enjoyed in Egypt. 

After Venice had been defeated by Turkey in the battle 
of Sapienza in 1499 and had been obliged to sue for peace, 
she had received the following answer from the then grand 
vizir : " You can tell the doge that he has done wedding 
the sea, it is our turn now." This boast became steadily 
more completely realized as Turkish conquest in the Medi- 
terranean continued, and Venice soon saw that her chance 
of freedom on the seas lay in keeping on good terms 
with the Turk, whom she could not conquer. In vain 
she sought for help against the Moslems; in vain she car- 
ried on a single-handed struggle against their encroach- 
ments, earning the title of " Bulwark of Christianity ". 
Had she not " learned to kiss the hand that she could not 
cut off," 3 she could not have continued to exist as even 
the second-rate power in the Levant to which she was re- 
duced after the Peace of Cambrai. Frequent missions were 
sent from Venice to the Porte, and a Venetian baillie was 
kept at the Porte. These baillies were very good statesmen, 
and they not only kept Venice on good terms with Turkey 
for thirty-three years, but they made an invaluable contri- 
bution to recorded history by sending frequent and detailed 
reports to the signories. 

Russia also sent an embassy to the Porte, after the con- 
quests of Belgrad and Rhodes had demonstrated the power 
of Turkey; and the Tsar, recognizing the value of an alli- 
ance with the Porte, made two attempts to form one, but 

1 Von Hammer, op. cit., vol. v, p. 20. 

1 Quoted by Horatio Brown, Venice, 1893. 

8 Turkish proverb. 



56 IBRAHIM PASHA [162 

without success. Suleiman saw no advantage in such an 
alliance, but he never assumed an unfriendly attitude to- 
wards Russia, at that time still an unimportant power. In 
a letter written later in his reign he recalls the amicable rela- 
tions that had existed between the Porte and Russia, and 
recommends his Ottoman merchants to buy furs and mer- 
chandise in Moscow. 1 

As Suleiman's conquests naturally threw him into anta- 
gonism with the House of Hapsburg, it is desirable to re- 
view briefly the political conditions in the Holy Roman 
Empire at this time. 

The accession of Charles of Spain to the Imperial throne 
took place in October of the same year as Suleiman's ac- 
cession, 1520. Handicapped in every possible way by the 
German princes, for whose safety and prosperity the em- 
peror assumed the entire responsibility without receiving in 
return any equivalent whatever, 2 Charles V presented a 
great contrast to Suleiman, whose slightest word was law 
throughout his extensive dominions. With the empire, 
Charles acquired the enmity of Francis I of France, his un- 
~successiul rival, and hereafter his constant foe. Another 
rival not outwardly so dangerous, but destined to be a great 
sourceofjmxiety an4 W-eqknfgg to flip fifflynre was Ferdin- 
and, the pmppror'5 brother., Concerning him, Charles' 
counsellor, de Chievres, is reported to have said to Charles, 8 
" Do not fear the king of France nor any other prince ex- 
cept your brother ". Ferdinand's ambition had been early 
recognized. His grandfather, Ferdinand of Aragon, had 
attempted to construct an Italian kingdom for him, but 

1 Karamsin, Histoire de Russie, tr. by St. Thomas and Jauffret, 1819- 
1826, vol. vii, p. 142. 

* D. J. Hill, Hist, of European Diplomacy, ii, p. 346. 
8 Hill, op. cit., quotes Contarini to this effect. 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 



57 



failed. Charles, after his election to the Empire, tried to 
satisfy Ferdinand's craving for power by conferring on 
him the old Austrian provinces, and further by marrying 
him to Anna, heiress of the kingdom of Hungary and 
Bohemia, whose child-king, Lewis, was weak physically and 
not destined for a long reign. This opened to Ferdinand a 
large sphere of activity in the 'southeast, and brought him 
into direct contact with the stcadiiy-^ncroaching SuTeTrrian ; 
a sphere that effectually absorbed his energies and made 

him but j^auj3ui^ 

Thus Charles V, in name the imperial ruler of Central 
Europe, was confronted with four rivals who desired to 
divide with him the supremacy; Francis I, a relentless foe; 
his brother Ferdinand, an ambitious claimant : the conquer- 
ing Suleiman; and the Protestant Revolt. The weakness 
and disunion of Christendom was the strength of Suleiman, 
and he was far too shrewd not to trade on it. -^ 

It had in fact been long since Europe had been sufficiently 
united to oppose with any vigor the oncoming Turks. The 
Popes of Rome had been the most persistent foes of Turkish 
advance in Europe, notably Calixtus III, who in 1453 tried 
in vain to save the West from Mohammed's conquering 
armies; Pius II, who having for his master-thought the 
freeing of Europe from Islam, preached a general crusade, 
and even attempted to convert Mohammed by letter; 
Paul II, who gave lavish aid to Scanderbeg and the armies 
in Hungary and Albania in their struggle against Turkish 
invasion; Alexander VI, who held Prince Jem, the mutin- 
ous brother of Sultan Bayezid, as hostage for the friendli- 
ness of the sultan whom he attacked after Jem's death ; and 
Julius II, who planned a crusade early in the sixteenth cen- 
tury, but failed to execute it. 1 All this time Turkish con- 

1 Cf. Pastor's Hist, of the Popes, vol. iii, passim. 



5 g IBRAHIM PASHA 

quest continued practically unhindered. By the close of the 
fifteenth century religious interests began to give way to 
political advantages, and the Turks were accepted as a per- 
manent political factor in Europe. Nevertheless, when 
Charles became a candidate for election to the headship of 
the Holy Roman Empire, he emphasized his fitness for the 
high office by alleging that his vast possessions, united to 
the Imperial dignity, would enable him to oppose the Turks 
successfully. 1 Butjthe^ sujdden ri$e^ of ^ heresv^and revolt 
rithin tl-if^Thnrrh ^"dpfl irt fnrrp the dread of Islam into 



the background, even in Jhe face of the loss of Belgrad and 
Rhodes., At least such was the case with Charles V and the 
German princes; it was of necessity otherwise with little 
King Louis, who saw with terror the preparations of the 
Turkish conquerors for war to the death with Hungary. 

As Suleiman's conquests naturally threw him into anta- 
gonism with Austria, equally naturally he had common in- 
terests with Francis I. Friendly relations between the Porte 
and France were not unprecedented, although strongly dis- 
approved by the more religious among the French. Com- 
mercial agreements had existed for some time between the 
two states. 2 The accession of Francis I, January I, 1515? 
marked an epo^rHTrtrie'''Easfern Question. Francis 7 Qri- 
ental policy began on the conventional lines; he made an 
a^e^e^w1rli"TJeo X to driye^the Turks from Europe but 
refuseTlol'u&sidize Hungary in the interests of this pur- 
pose. The pope called for a truce in Europe and a crusade 
against the common enemy, but the death of Maximilian 
and the outbreak of the Reformation put a complete stop to 
this plan. The only result was the extension of the circle 

J In a circular to his electors, quoted by J. Janssen, History of Ger- 
many, vol. ii, p. 276. 

1 Noradunghian, op. cit., gives notice of two commercial treaties in 
1508-1517. Cf. also Marini Sanuto, vol. Hi, pp. 79, 117, 132, 180, 286, 453. 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 59 

of European politics to include Eastern affairs and the 
Ottoman Empire, and to bring the Eastern Question home 
to all the European powers. Those who had been furthest 
away were now drawn in ; France, Spain, and even England 
began to step within the circle of Eastern influence. 

The battle of Pavia marked a crisis in European affairs. 
The captivity of the French king, his falling into the hands 
of his bitterest foe, Charles of Hapsburg, destroyed any 
scruples that the French court had felt against seeking 
Turkish aid. The first French mission to Suleiman I did 
not reach the Porte, the ambassador being assassinated en 
route. 1 This first attempt was quickly followed by another. 
The Croat Frangipani brought two letters to the Sultan, one 
written by Francis from his Madrid prison, the other from 
his distracted mother, the queen-regent. Francis also sent 
a letter to Ibrahim Pasha, who later gave an account of 
this embassy to Cornelius Scepper and Hieronymus von 
Zara, envoys of Ferdinand. 2 

" Post hec tempora, inquit Ibrahim, accedit quod rex 
Francie captus fuit. Tune mater ipsius regis ad ipsum 
Caesarem Thurcarum scripsit hoc modo. ' Filius meus Rex 
Francie captus est a Carolo, Rege Hispanie. Speravi quod 
ipse liberaliter ipsum demitteret. Id quo non fecit, sed 
iniuste cum eo agit. Confugimus ad te magnum Caesarem 
ut tu liberalitatem tuam ostendas et filium meum redimas'." 3 

Frangipani demanded that Suleiman should undertake an 
expedition by land and sea to deliver the king of France, who 

1 Gevay, op. cit., Gesandschaft Konigs Ferdinand I am Sultan Sulei- 
man, i, p. 21. 

1 Cf. Zinkheisen, op. cit., p. 640; also von Hammer, Memoir e sur les 
premieres relations diplomatiques entre la France et la Porte, in Jour- 
nal Asiatique, vol. x, series i, p. 19 et seq. 

8 Cf. Report of Lambert and Jurischitz to Ferdinand, 1531, Gevay 
op. cit., iii, p. 144. 



60 IBRAHIM PASHA [j66 

otherwise would make terms which would leave Charles 
master of the world. This_exactly fitted-jnto the_plans of 
SuleimajL r _ydiQ.se_ European expeditions were natu?Hy dT~~ 
rectedagainst^the possessions of the house of Hapsburg^_so 

the demands of the French 



mission. Ibrahim later stated * that this embassy ~decicle~d 
the Sultan to prepare his army immediately for an expedi- 
tion into Hungary. The knowledge of this successful em- 
bassy was one of the reasons tlmt-ledCharles tosigTptKe 

- J -- - _, ,., ,,,--, i " Oi "^v 

Y Treaty of Madrid jjanuary j _j526. By the time of this 
treaty Francis promised to send five thousand cavalry and 
fifteen thousand infantry against his recent allies, the 
Turks, but of course he had no intention of keeping his 
jvord. 

1 In the report of Lambert and von Zara (Gevay, vol. iii, p. 44), 
Ibrahim said: Darauf sein Kaiser (Suleiman) bewegt worden in Fran- 
cis nit zu verlassen, und hat alsomit im und den Venedigern can ver- 
stand und puntnus (Buntniss) gemacht, also das sy ein treffleche ermada 
auf dem mer aufgericht damit sy gegen yspania arbeiten habenwellen 
und Erder kaiser solte mit einem trefflichen hoer (Heer) durch E. M. 
(Ferdinand) Lande in fryaul und forter auf Mayland zogen sein." 

Cf. Solakzadeh, op. cit., trans, by H. D. J. " The king of France had 
fallen into the desire for possessions and planned to strike the crown 
of Hungary from the hands of the king of Hungary, and finally there 
was much fighting among them. After this, with the aid of the king 
of Spain, Francis was conquered and several forts being captured, he 
fled. Being reduced to an extremity, he was shut up in a solid fortress. 
Wishing to have revenge on his enemy, he found no other means than 
to betake himself to the Padisha of Islam. He sent an ambassador to 
the most blessed Porte with a most humble letter in which was thus 
written : ' If the king of Hungary receives punishment from the blessed 
Sultan, we will oppose ourselves to the King of Spain to take revenge. 
We beg and pray that the Sultan of the world will repulse that proud 
one. After that day we shall be obliged slaves of his Excellency the 
Padisha, who is master of time and place and mighty emperor.' To 
this humble prayer and supplication the Sultan, pitying them, in his 
merciful glory resolved to make war on this king filled with cruel dis- 
positions, as we shall see." 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 6 1 

Since the capture of Belgrad by the Turks in 1521, hos- 
tilities on the Hungarian frontier had never ceased, and the 
Turkish danger had been constantly before the Reichstag 
and in the mind of the Pope. In April, 1 526, Suleiman started 
with a large army for his first regular Hungarian campaign. 
The Hungarian nobles, continually at feud with one an- 
other, were utterly unprepared to resist him, and the treas- 
ury was exhausted. The first city to be taken was Peter- 
wardein, which was stormed by Ibrahim Pasha. Then fell 
Illok and Esek. But the decisive victory of the campaign 
was the ba^tle_jiJV[olTacz 1 _August 29, 1526. In this brief 
but bloody conflict little King .Lewis t'ell, and the country 
was laid open to the sultan. JThgkeys of Buda. the capital of 
Hungary, were handed over tojhunjand ^..he^ntered^the^city 
on Septemhej_isjL__In spite of the express prohibition of the 
sultan, his soldiers accustomed to regard war as an op- 
portunity for rapine, burned two quarters of the city, in- 
cluding the great church, while the akinji (scouts) burned 
neighboring villages and slaughtered the peasants. Other 
victories followed until at last the sultan, promising the 
Hungarians that John Zapolya should be their king, with- 
drew his army to Constantinople, carrying with riim an 
immense amount p;Lho,p|;y. 

The death at Mohacz of King Lewis without direct heirs 
left the thrones of Hungary and Bohemia vacant. The 
Archduke Ferdinand, as the husband of Lewis' sister, 
and recognized as Lewis' successor by official acts of his 
brother, the Emperor Charles, passed at the Diets of Worms 
and .Brussels on April 28. i*2i r and March 18. 1522. was 
the legal heir to the throne. Butthe sovereignty was 
claimed also fay John Zapolya, voivode of Transylvania, a 
vigorous fighter and an unscrupulous politician.__Both of 
these claimants had themselves been recognized rrTTlun- 



62 IBRAHIM PASHA [ Z 68 

gary and crowned with the Iron Crown, 1 and both of them 
turned for substantial aid in support of their claims to 
Suleiman, regardless of possible loss of independence. 
Suleiman, as conqueror of the strongholds of Hungary, and 
as a court of appeal for the rivals, considered himself to 
have in his hand the disposition of the crown. He did 
not want it himself. He had expressly declared that he in- 
vaded Hungary to avenge insults, not to take the kingdom 
from Lewis ; but the death of the latter forced him to choose 
between the two rival claimants. His word had been pledged 
for the support of Zapolya. and hisjdislike of the Hapsburgs 
ftnH his ^p t qdshilL.fl}I_lllf French king inclined him to 
keep it.^ 

Ferdinand and Zapolya both hastened to send embassies 
to the Turks, Ferdinand taking the first step. He sent en- 
voys to Upper Bosnia and to Belgrad to ask the governors 
to refuse aid to Zapolya, offering three to six thousand 
ducats for their alliance. 2 One of the governors died before 
the embassy reached him, and from neither of them were 
there any results from this mission. 3 At the same time Fer- 
dinand attacked Zapolya, driving him from Ofen and back 
towards Siebenbergen. Zapolya in distress despatched his 
first mission to the Porte. His envoy, Hieronymous Laszky, 
was empowered to effect a defensive and offensive alliance 
with the sultan. The mission was successJulJideiman_ac-. 
cepting Zapolya's offer of devotion, aiid^Binrm'sing him 

1 Zapolya was crowned November, 1526, and Ferdinand was crowned 
November 3, 1527. 

1 Confirmed by a letter from Ferdinand to Cyriacus Freiheer von 
Polheim and Markus Trautsauerwein, Kanzler of Lower Austria, Prag, 
Feb. 14, 1527. " Iirstructio ad Bassam Balibeg," Gevay, op. cit., vol. i, 
pp. 36-7. 

8 Gevay, vol. i, p. 14. Bericht Hoberdanacz an Koenig Ferdinand I, 
Inspruch, 19 Feb'y, 1529. 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 63 

the crown of Hungary and the protection of the Porte 
against his enemies. 

Although the mission from Zapolya was kept as secret 
as possible, it soon became known to Ferdinand, who dis- 
patched the embassy he had long planned, in the hope 
of counteracting Zapolya's move. One embassy failed to 
reach Constantinople, 1 and the first ambassadors from 
the archduke of Austria to reach the Porte were John 
Hobordonacz and Sigmund Weixelberger, in May, 1528. 
They demanded the Kingship of Hungary for their master 
Ferdinand, and the restoration to Hungary of all the places 
taken by Suleiman. The sultan refused both of these de- 
mands and in his turn offered to make peace on the payment 
of tribute. The embassy accomplished nothing, its sequel 
being the campaign in Hungary in 1529. Three days be- 
fore the final answer to Ferdinand, Suleiman had in full 
divan delivered to Ibrahim a commission making him 
serasker or general-in-chief of the expedition against the 
Hapsburgs. The Peace of Cambrai in 1529 left the Aus- 
trians free to fight the Turks. 

- In the meanwhile French diplomacy continued actively. 
Francis I was disturbed by the result of the invasion of 
Hungary which he had himself urged, for the kingdoms of 
Hungary and Bohemia seemed now to be falling into the 
hands of his enemies of Austria. More than ever he had 
need of the Ottoman alliance, and he determined on an 
alliance with Zapolya. He sent Rincon to the latter to form 
an offensive and defensive alliance, claiming as his reward 
the reversion of the kingdom of Hungary for his second 
son, Henry, should Zapolya die without heirs. 2 On the 2Oth 
of September, 1528, Sultan Suleiman renewed a former act 

1 Letters of safe conduct for such envoys by Suleiman and Ibrahim 
are found in Gevay, vol. i, pp. 62-64. 

2 Charriere, op. cit., vol. i, pp. 155-171. 



64 IBRAHIM PASHA [170 

called by old French historians " la treve marchande," * giv- 
ing commercial privileges to the Catalonian and French 
merchants in the Mediterranean, and placing all French fac- 
tories, consuls, and pilgrims, under the protection of the 
Sublime Porte. The French were thus able to reappear 
with confidence in the Levant, and were welcomed by the 
Christians in the East. The pilgrimages to Jerusalem re- 
commenced. Even Francis expressed a desire to go to the 
Holy Land and to visit en route "his dear patron and friend, 
Suleiman." 2 A question concerning the Holy Places in 
Palestine was also brought up by Francis at this time, which 
is of very great significance, as it marks the beginning of 
the train of developments that resulted in the conception of 
the protection of Turkey's Christian subjects by the Euro- 
pean Powers. Francis and Venice united in asking that a 
certain church in Jerusalem, long before converted into a 
mosque, be restored to the Christians. 3 Ibrahim replied 
that had the King of France demanded a province, the 
Turks would not have refused him, but in a matter of re- 
ligion they could not gratify his desire. Nevertheless the 
Sultan made the following general promise which was later 
used as a basis for further demand by the Catholics. He 
wrote to Francis : 4 " The Christians shall live peaceably 
under the wing of our protection ; they shall be allowed to 

1 Cf. De Testa, Recueil des Traites de la Porte Ottoman avec les 
Puissances Etr anger es de 1526 et jusqu'a nos jours (Paris, 1864), vol. i, 
France, pp. 23-26; for the text of the treaty of Hatti-Sherif, 1528. 

2 " Wolte er (Francis) noch so paid sein sach pesser wurd Zu Jeru- 
salem alda er das hailig grab besuchen wollte Zur Ime khomen mit 
merem anzeigen." Thus the envoy of Ferdinand in 1531 reports Ibra- 
him as saying. Gevay, op. cit., iii, p. 44. 

3 Francis' letter is lost, so we do not know to which church he re- 
ferred. Suleiman's answer is found in Charriere, op. cit., iii, pp. 129- 
131. Cf. also Marini Sanuto, vol. xlviii, p. 50. 

4 Charrieres, op. cit., vol. i, p. 129. Ursu, op. cit., pp. 51-2. 



! 7 1 ] 75^4 HIM THE DIPLOMA T 65 

repair their doors and windows; they shall preserve in all 
safety their oratories and establishments which they actually 
occupy, without any one being allowed to oppose or tor- 
ment them." 1 

On the loth day of May, 1529, Suleiman set out to settle 
matters by force with Charles V. Before the end of August 
the Turks were again encamped with a vast army on the 
fatal plain of Mohacz. Here John Zapolya met his over- 
lord and did him homage. Three days later the Turks ad- 
vanced to Buda, and took it from Ferdinand, crowning 
Zapolya a second time within the walls of the capital. By 
September 27, Suleiman was encamped before Vienna. 

On the 1 9th day of October, 1529, Ferdinand, in great 
distress, wrote to his brother the Emperor; after referring 
to the horrors that followed the siege of Vienna, he says: 
"I do not know what he (Suleiman) intends to do, 
whether to betake himself to his own country or to stay 
in Hungary and fortify it and the fortresses, with the in- 
tention of returning next spring to invade Christendom, 
which I firmly believe he will do. I therefore beg you 
Sire, to consider my great need and poverty, and that it 
may please you not to abandon me but to assist me with 
money." 2 

The invasion of Austria had convinced Charles that he 
must support Ferdinand against Turkey, and the royal 
brothers agreed on their Oriental policy, namely, peace at 
almost any price. To this end another embassy was fitted 

1 It is in these letters that may be found the reference that Mr. Dug- 
gan, in his Eastern Question, says he failed to discover in the Capitu- 
lations of 1535 and 1528, and which he concludes did not exist, hence 
ascribing an error to D'Ohsson. Cf. the Eastern Question, note p. 25. 

1 Gevay, op. cit., vol. i, p. 49. " Je vous supplie nous tres humble- 
ment considere la grande necessite et pauvrete ou je suis quil vous 
plaise ne me habandonner dargent ain men assister comme ien ay entiere 
confidence." 



66 IBRAHIM PASHA [ij 2 

out and despatched to treat with Suleiman. On the I7th 
day of October, 1530, Nicholas Juritschitz and Joseph von 
Lamberg arrived in Constantinople. Their instructions 
were practically the same as those given Juritschitz the pre- 
vious year. 1 The mission was hopeless from the start, for 
the ambassadors could accept peace only on the condition of 
the evacuation of Hungary by the Turks, and to this the 
Sultan would not listen. 

Ferdinand however, who had just failed in a military at- 
tack on Zapolya and had accepted a truce, saw no hope but 
in another embassy to the Porte. Therefore he sent Graf 
Leonhard von Nogarola and Joseph von Lamberg, who were 
to attempt to buy peace by the payment of annual pensions 
to Suleiman and Ibrahim. The sultan, who had already left 
Constantinople at the head of a great army for his fifth 
Hungarian campaign, was intercepted at his camp near Bel- 
grad by the Austrian envoys. The only result of this em- 
bassy was a letter to Ferdinand from Suleiman saying that 
the latter was starting for Ofen, where he would treat with 
Ferdinand in person, a threat which he followed up im- 
mediately. 

By April, 1531, Suleiman was ready to avenge his failure 
before Vienna. At Belgrad he was met by the French 
ambassador Rincon. FYance was__npw anxious to prevent 
the Sultan'^je^edition against Austria, not in the interests 
ofthe Hapsburgs but against Them, for ;he ^yas .afraid tHat 
the_ Turkish danger would unite Catholic and Protestant Ger- 
many against thg, common foe of Christianity. Suleiman 
received Rincon hospitably but assured him he had come too 
late, for while on account of his friendship with the King of 
France he would like to oblige the latter, he could not give 

1 " Instruction auff unseres getrieuen lieben Joseph von Lamberg und 
Nichola Juritschitz," etc. Gevay, iii, 3 et seq. 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 67 

up the expedition without giving the world occasion to think 
that he was afraid of the " King of Spain ", as he always 
called Charles V. 1 

The Ottoman army entered Hungary. Fourteen for- 
tresses sent the Sultan their keys as he approached. 2 But 
the forces did not advance to Vienna as their enemies ex- 
pected, but turned into Styria and besieged the little town 
of Guns. For three weeks seven hundred brave defenders 
held the little fort against the might of Turkish arms, and 
finally made a highly honorable capitulation. After a 
general devastation of the country and much looting, the 
great army of Suleiman returned to Constantinople. Su- 
leiman was incited to this course by the active preparations 
which were being made by Charles and Ferdinand to re- 
ceive him at Vienna, and by the naval successes in the Medi- 
terranean of Andrea Doria, admiral of the Italian fleet. 
Thus what promised to be a great duel between the two 
" Masters of the World " was allowed by both of them to 
degenerate into a plundering expedition. 

Affairs in Persia were in great need of Suleiman's pres- 
ence, and the capture of Koron and Patras by Doria made 
the Sultan more ready to listen to overtures of peace. 
Charles and Ferdinand took advantage of this fact to send 
Hieronymus von Zara and Cornelius Duplicius Schepper to 
the Porte in 1533. The ambassadors, after weeks of pa- 
tience and adroitness succeeded in winning from the Sultan 
a treaty of peace, to last as long as Ferdinand should re- 
main peaceful. Ferdinand was to retain the forts he had 
taken in Hungary and Zapolya to keep the others; the 
Emperor Charles might make peace by sending his own 
embassy to the Porte. As soon as Ferdinand received the 

1 Charriere, op. cit., vol. i, p. 207. Cf. Von Hammer, Memoire, etc. 

2 Menzies, Turkey New and Old, p. 136. 



68 IBRAHIM PASHA [174 

news of this humiliating success, he sent word all over the 
kingdom, to Krain, Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia that 
any violation of the truce would be severely punished ; " denn 
daran . . mug der Turghisch Kaeser erkhennen dass wir den 
Frieden angenommen derselben zu halten gaentzlich ent- 
schlossen und so dawider gehandelt wurf, dass mit ernst zu 
shafen willen haben." * Such were the humiliating terms 
of the first peace concluded by the House of Austria with 
the Porte (1533)- 

Shortly after the embassy of von Zara and Schepper, 
Suleiman left Europe to wage war against the Persians. As 
usual when planning a campaign in one direction, he made 
careful arrangements to keep matters quiet on other fron- 
tiers. HP treated in secret with Francis I. agreeing to 
despatch Barbarossa with a fleet to ravage the_coasts_jof__the 
Empire; this waslf^ejrtjs^ 

the advantag was all in favor of France. Then, fearing lest 
the rivals for the Hungarian tTirone^should come to an 
agreement in his absence, amTllms" menace his suzerainty, 
Suleiman delegated Luigi GntIinbo^etejimne~Jthe frontiers 

,,..5?...,v M .-^ ""' "W7. "-- .1 -__ 

between the possessions of the twojcings. This was a clever 
move, for it prolonged the intrigues between the royal com- 
petitors until the return of the sultan. The successes of Bar- 
barossa, the victories and defeats of Charles V on the Medi- 
terranean, and the continuation of French diplomacy are 
outside the limits of our subject, which ends with the death 
of Ibrahim Pasha in 1535. Gevay preserves several letters 
written by Ferdinand to Ibrahim in 1535-6, in the interest of 
peace in Hungary, the last being dated March 14, 1536, a 
year after Ibrahim's death. The last international act in 
which Ibrahim Pasha had a part was the celebrated treaty 
of commerce made with France in February, 1535- 

1 Bekanntmachung des Friedens in Krain. Gevay, op. cit., vol. iii. 



175] IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 69 

Francis I had received a Turkish mission, not from the 
haughty Sultan, but from his admiral Barbarossa, 1 and in 
return the king sent a clever diplomat named La Forest, to 
thank Barbarossa for his kind offers of aid, and then to 
seek the sultan in Persia and conclude a definite treaty with 
him. 2 Suleiman received La Forest in his military camp, 
keeping him till his own return to Turkey in 1535. 

The treaty is dated February, 1535; it forms the basis of 
the economic, religious, and political protectorate of France 
in the Levant. The French might carry on commerce 
in the Levant by paying the same dues as did the subjects 
of the Sultan, and the Turks could do the same in France. 
The French were to be judged by their consul at Alexandria 
or by their ambassador at Constantinople. This treaty 
ended the commercial predominance of Venice in the Medi- 
terranean. After this, all Christians except the Venetians 
were forced to put themselves under the protection of the 
French flag, which alone guaranteed inviolability. 3 This 
commercial freedom and political influence gained by 
France involved a sort of economic protection and was 
supplemented by a religious protectorate over the Catholics 
in the Levant and the Holy Places. 

After this sketch of the beginnings of diplomatic rela- 
tions between the Porte and the two rival powers of Europe, 
the House of Hapsburg and the House of Valois, we are 
ready to consider the significance of these relations and to 
take up some of the details that will serve to bring out the 

1 Ursu, op. cit., p. 86. Relations des Ambassadors Venetiens sur les 
affaires de France au XVI siccle. Recueillies et traduites par M. N. 
Tomasseo (Paris, 1836), Marino Giustiniano, vol. i, p. 55. 

2 For text, see de Testa, op cit., p. 15, et seq.; also Noradunghian, 
op. cit., vol. i, pp. 83-87; also Charrieres, op. cit., vol. i, pp. 283-294. 

8 Ursu, op. cit., p. 97. 



70 IBRAHIM PASHA [176 

share of Ibrahim Pasha in Turkish diplomacy, and his 
characteristics as a diplomat. 

Diplomatic relations between the Porte and Europe, rela- 
tions other than those of conqueror and conquered, relations 
reciprocal and more or less friendly, began in the reign of 
Suleiman I, and the first French embassy to the Porte in 
1526 already described was the beginning of a complete 
change in the European attitude towards Turkey. Before 
this time, the religious differences between Moslem and 
Christian had effectually absorbed attention, but now poli- 
tical interests began to push aside religious concern. The 
masses of the people in Europe still feared a Moslem in- 
vasion of the North, but this was no longer a real danger. 
A general rising of Christians, such as a crusade, was no 
longer necessary to hold back the Turk; the regular means 
and the ordinary efforts of a few states combined sufficed, as 
was proved by the successful resistance of Guns and Vienna. 
It was decreed that the Turk was not to pass Vienna. 
Francis might therefore seek the friendship of the Otto- 
man without betraying the cause of Christianity. There 
were, it is true, plenty of Christians who cried out against 
the impious alliance of the Crescent and the Lily, 1 but the 
outcry was largely political and as we have seen soon even 
the Austrians were seeking terms of peace with the Turks. 
When Suleiman came to the throne, he attended closely 
to the business of government, but by 1526 he was leaving 

1 " Tous les princes chretians qui sustenoit le parti de 1'Empereur 
fasoient grand cas de ce que le Roy, notre maistre, avoit employe le 
Turc a son secours ; mais centre son ennemy on peult de toute fois 
fere fleches. Quant a moi, si je pouvois appeler tous les esprits des 
enfers pour rompre le teste a mon ennemy qui me veult rompre la 
mienne, je le ferois de bon coeur, dieu me pardoint." Quoted by 
Zeller, La Diplomatic Frangaise vers le milieu du XVI siecle (1880), 
Introd., p. 20 (Monluc. edit., de la Societe de I'histoire de France). 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 71 

practically the whole responsibility on the shoulders of his 
grand vizir Ibrahim. Ambassadors to the Porte had their 
first audience always with Ibrahim, after which they some- 
times had audiences with the other vizirs. Generally a very 
formal ceremony of hand-kissing was permitted by the 
Sultan, after which Ibrahim concluded the business. At 
some audiences with the grand vizir, Suleiman would be 
present, concealed behind a little window, 1 but oftener he 
was not present at all. 

In his early diplomatic work, Ibrahim, feeling himself 
unprepared, turned to Luigi Gritti, natural son by a Greek 
mother of Andreas Gritti, who had been ambassador and 
at one time doge of Venice. Ibrahim was very well 
served by Luigi Gritti, who was intelligent as well as ex- 
perienced, especially in Christian dealings, clever, able, and 
tactful. 2 Zapolya's ambassador Laszky, knowing this, per- 
suaded Gritti to take up his affairs, hoping through him to 
win Ibrahim, and through Ibrahim, Suleiman. The event 
justified him. 8 Ibrahim frankly acknowledged Gritti's in- 
fluence, saying to Laszky : " Without the Doge Gritti and 
his son we should have destroyed the power of Ferdinand 
and of thy master (Zapolya) , for the conflict of two enemies 
who ruin each other is always favorable to the third who 
survives." 

1 " Sopra bassa fenestrella quedatn cancellata conspiciebatur in qua 
Imperator occulte adens audiebat. Legatorum petita, putans se neuti- 
quam videri." Berichte Hobordanacz, Gevay. 

2 Danielle de'Ludovisi. Alberi, III, i, p. 30, 1435. Ludovisi further 
explains that the hold Gritti obtained over Ibrahim was due to the 
latter's inexperience of diplomacy. He says that Ibrahim went directly 
from the serai to the offices of Pasha and Beylerbey of Roumelie with- 
out experience of the world or of the government of a state, and being 
unwilling to learn from the Turk, he turned to an outsider to show 
him the modes of procedure. 

3 Quoted by von Hammer, op. cit., v, p. 106, and Zinkheisen, op. cit., 
p. 662. 




72 IBRAHIM PASHA [j^g 

We may get an idea of the manner of conducting em- 
bassies at the Porte, as well as the functions and character- 
istics of Ibrahim as diplomat as such by following the re- 
port of Hobordanacz to Ferdinand. Hobordanacz sent an 
official and detailed report of the embassy to his master, 
written in Latin, which is preserved in Gevay's Urkunde 
und Actcnstuecke? 

The two ambassadors Hobordanacz and Weixelberger 
were received with splendor on their entrance into Constan- 
tinople by a guard of four hundred knights, and were im- 
mediately conducted to the grand vizir. This ceremonious 
reception greatly encouraged the hopes of Hobordanacz. 2 
After greetings to Ibrahim, " Supremum Nomine ", the 
Hungarians offered him presents and then retired to quarters 
assigned them. On the third day forty horsemen escorted 
the royal nuncios to the Imperial palace. Hobordanacz 
was greatly impressed with the splendid array of janissaries 
and guards in gorgeous costumes. They were received by 
the three vizirs, Ibrahim, Cassim, and Ayas Pasha, while 
from his little window his Majesty watched the audience, 
himself unseen. 

Amidst profound silence, Ibrahim Pasha addressed the 
first nuncio, asking him politely whether they were treated 
well in their quarters, to which Hobordanacz answered that 
they had everything in ^ abundance, as was fitting in the 
palace of so great an emperor. Ibrahim then began to in- 
terrogate them concerning the journey and their king, ex- 

1 Bericht Johann Hobordanacz an Koenig Ferdinand I, Innspruch, 
igth February, 1529, Gevay, i, pp. 1-28. 

2 In a letter to Ferdinand of April g, 1528, Hobordanacz wrote: " Ho- 
dierna die intravi in Turciam, ubi adhuc in porte Zawe obviam vene- 
runt mihi Turci plus quam trecenti optimo cum appareru, et maximo 
cum honare susceperunt me, spero autem in Deum omnipotentem quod 
omnia negocia bonum finem hebebunt." Gevay, i, p. 36. 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 73 

plaining that he was not asking about the king of Hungary, 
for Lewis of Hungary had been killed in battle, but was 
inquiring about the king of Bohemia and Germany. The 
Hungarian nuncios took the opportunity to boast of the 
greatness of Ferdinand, provoking a smile from Ibrahim. 
Hobordanacz said they had come to admire and to con- 
gratulate the emperor of the Turks that God had made him 
a nearer neighbor to Ferdinand than previously. He said 
that the Emperor Maximilian had given Hungary to Fer- 
dinand, whereupon Ibrahim broke in : " By what right, when 
Sultan Suleiman has subjugated Hungary?" He asked 
them if they did not know that the Sultan had been to Buda. 
The Hungarians responded rudely that there were signs 
enough by which they could know of Suleiman's visit, as the 
country lay waste. Ibrahim went on : " The fortress of 
Buda, how does it stand ?" " Whole and undamaged " they 
replied. When he asked why, they suggested that it was 
because it was the king's castle. Ibrahim denied this and 
said it was because the sultan had saved the citadel for him- 
self, and intended to keep it with divine aid. Ibrahim here 
explained that Suleiman and he had not wished so much 
harm done in Hungary, and had ordered the soldiers not 
to burn Buda and Pesth, but could not hold them back from 
devastating. This was naturally a sore subject with the 
Hungarians who after expressions of admiration for the 
great obedience they saw in Turkey, even when the sultan 
was not present, asked pertinently why then he could not 
,have saved Buda and Pesth. This seems to have been too 
much for Ibrahim who remarked "Let us omit these things." 
Turning therefore to a more congenial subject, he uttered 
a Turkish dictum, " Wherever the hoof of the sultan's horse 
has trod, there the land belongs to him." Hobordanacz 
replied somewhat sarcastically that they knew such was the 
sultan's idea, but that even Alexander the Great had not 



74 IBRAHIM PASHA 

been able to carry out all his ideas. Cutting through all 
these generalities, Ibrahim said sharply, "Then you say that 
Buda does not belong to Suleiman!" Hobordanacz replied 
stoutly, " I can say no more than that my king holds Buda." 
Said Ibrahim, " Why has he then sent you to ask for peace 
and friendship if he holds Buda, which the sultan has con- 
quered ?" . The nuncio told a long story of Zapolyta's usur- 
pation of the throne, and of Ferdinand's merits to which 
Ibrahim sarcastically remarked, " You have talked of the 
many virtues of your lord! Very noble if they be true!" 
He then asked Hobordanacz if he were a relative of Fer- 
dinand's and how long he had served the Archduke. The 
nuncio replied that he had served him since the latter be- 
came king of Hungary. " Then," said the pasha triumph- 
antly, " if you have served him so short a time, how do you 
know he is so wise and virtuous and powerful ?" A curious 
contest of wits followed with no practical object. 

Ibrahim : " Tell us what wisdom you see in Ferdinand 
and how you know that he is wise." 

Hobor. : " Because when he has won great victories, he 
ascribes the glory to God." 
" What does wisdom seem to you to be like?" 
" In our books and in yours, the beginning of wis- 
dom is said to be the fear of God." 

I. : " True, but what other wisdom do you find in Fer- 
dinand?" 

H. : " He works deliberately and with foresight and 
taking of counsel; also he undertakes no affairs 
that he cannot finish." 

I. : " If he does this, he is praiseworthy. Now what 
boldness and courage do you find in him ? " 

Ibrahim's next question as to the victories of Ferdinand 
received a long and clever answer. Ibrahim further in- 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 75 

quired as to Ferdinand's wealth. Hobordanacz claimed 
endless treasure for his master. Ibrahim then asked " What 
have you to say about the power of your master?" Hobor- 
danacz claimed many powerful friends and neighbors, the 
greatest being his brother Charles. Ibrahim inflicted one 
of his battle-axe strokes ; " We know that these so-called 
friends and neighbors are his enemies." The Hungarian 
replied sententionsly, " Unhappy is the king without rivals, 
whom all favcr." Ibrahim at length stopped the discussion 
of Ferdinand's merits by saying, " If this be so, it is well." 
Then he asked whether they came in peace or in war, to 
which Hobordanacz replied that Ferdinand wished friend- 
ship from all his neighbors and enmity from none. 

After this sprightly introduction, Ibrahim led the nuncios 
in a brilliant procession to the presence of the sultan. Here 
the janissaries received gifts for the sultan from the ser- 
vants of the ambassadors, and showed them to all in turn; 
in the next room seven eunuchs took the gifts and spread 
them out on tables. The three pashas first went to salute 
Suleiman, leaving the nuncios before the door. Ibrahim 
Pasha and Cassim Pasha then, holding them by their two 
arms, led each of the nuncios in turn to salute the sultan, 
who sat with his hands on his knees and looked them over. 
When they had saluted him, they returned to their place 
by the door where stood the interpreter. Hobordanacz 
was greatly annoyed because the interpreter, familiar with 
the flowery and courtly Oriental speech, embellished the 
somewhat curt address of the Hungarian, but Ibrahim told 
the interpreter to repeat exactly what the envoy said. After 
this he asked Hobordanacz to state his business. After this 
statement of Ferdinand's wishes, Suleiman called Ibrahim 
to him and whispered in his ear. Ibrahim then resumed 
negotiations while Suleiman looked on. 

Taking up his grievance against Ferdinand once again, 



76 IBRAHIM PASHA 

Ibrahim inquired how the latter, in addressing the Sultan, 
dared declare himself so powerful when other princes were 
content to commend themselves to Suleiman's protection 
and to offer him their services. To Hobordanacz' ques- 
tion who these princes were, Ibrahim named the rulers of 
France, Poland, and Transylvania, the Pope and the Doge 
of Venice, and added that these princes (except the voivode 
of Transylvania) were the greatest in Europe. The Austrian 
nuncios seemed to be impressed and indeed the statement 
was a sufficiently startling one and was moreover borne out 
by the facts. After that Hobordanacz spoke with greater 
meekness, expressing his master's desire for the friendship 
of the sultan, if the latter were willing to grant it. " If 
he is not willing," said Ibrahim sharply, "what then?" 
Hobordanacz, recovering his boldness, said haughtily, "Our 
master forces no man's friendship." Ibrahim then dis- 
missed them with the parting fling that the sultan was oc- 
cupied with much more important business. They never 
saw the sultan again. Ibrahim informed them that his 
master was concerned with personal affairs, and that he 
himself would conduct the whole business. This illus- 
trates the respective shares of Suleiman and Ibrahim in 
the business of the state. Doubtless the sultan had a de- 
finite policy of friendship to Zapolya and antagonism to 
Ferdinand, but it appears certain that he allowed Ibrahim 
Pasha to control entirely the details of diplomacy. 

In later audiences with the grand vizir, Hoboraanacz ex- 
pressed the hope that Ferdinand and Charles V and Sultan 
Suleiman might become good friends and neighbors. Ibra- 
him inquired scornfully how such a friendship could come 
about! Hobordanacz declared that it was his mission to 
offer friendship, and it seemed to him that Ibrahim's in- 
fluence should be able to bring about advantages for both 
sides. Ibrahim again urged him to indicate the method of 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 77 

procedure, saying, " Your king has seized upon our king- 
dom, and yet he asks for friendship; how can that be?" 
The nuncio said he knew all things at the Porte were done 
by Ibrahim's will and authority; he believed that he could 
serve their cause. Ibrahim then proposed peace on condi- 
tion that Ferdinand should abandon Hungary. Hobor- 
danacz on the other hand asked for a definite truce for a term 
of years and requested the restitution to Ferdinand of those 
portions of Hungary taken by Suleiman, giving a list of 
twenty-seven fortresses. This aroused Ibrahim's bitter 
wrath. " It is strange " said he " that your master does 
not ask for Constantinople." He tried to make the ambas- 
sadors acknowledge that Ferdinand would attempt to take 
these forts by force if they were not conceded to him. 
" With what hope does he ask for these forts," he further 
inquired, " when he knows that the sultan took them with 
great labor and much bloodshed?" 

The question of compensation for these forts being opened, 
Ibrahim exclaimed indignantly that the sultan was not so 
poor that he would sell what his arms had won. Drama- 
tically opening a window he said " Do you see those Seven 
Towers! they are rilled with gold and treasure." 1 He 
then turned to the question of skill in war, and after prais- 
ing the prowess of the Germans, he said, " You know the 
arms of the Turks, how sharp they are, and how far they 

" In the palmy days of the Ottoman Empire," says Menzies, writing 
of this period, " each of these seven towers of the ancient Byzantium 
castle had its appropriate use ; one contained the gold, another the silver 
money, a third the gold and silver plate and jewels; valuable remains 
of antiquity were deposited in the fourth ; in the fifth were preserved 
ancient coins and other objects, chiefly collected by Selim I during his 
expeditions into Persia and Egypt; the sixth was a sort of arsenal; 
and the seventh was appropriated to the archives. After the time of 
Selim II, the Seven Towers were used as a prison for distinguished 
persons and as an arsenal." Menzies, op. cit., p. 191. 



78 



IBRAHIM PASHA 



have penetrated, for you have fled before them many times ". 
Hobordanacz gave a qualified assent, but praised his master's 
warlike skill. Ibrahim finally broke in, " Then your master 
wishes to keep those forts?" Hobordanacz suggested a 
middle course, but the grand vizir said decisively : " There 
is no other way but for your king to abandon Buda and 
Hungary and then we will treat with him about Germany ". 
Upon Hobordanacz' refusal to consider such terms, Ibrahim 
stated, " I conquered Lewis and Hungary, and now I will 
build the bridges of the Sultan, and prepare a way for his 
Majesty into Germany ". He closed the interview by ac- 
cusing Ferdinand and Charles of not keeping faith and said 
he would give the nuncios a final reply in three or four days. 
The third audience was held in the palace, with Ibrahim 
presiding, and Suleiman at his window, and was conducted 
on similar lines to the other audiences. Ibrahim informed 
the Hungarians that their master had just been defeated by 
Zapolya with an army of thirty-six thousand men, which 
statement Hobordanacz took the liberty of doubting, saying 
that if Zapolya added all the cocks and hens in Transylvania 
to his army, he could not make up the number to thirty-six 
thousand. The nuncios and the grand vizir could not 
agree on terms of alliance; to the Austrian demands, Ibra- 
him impatiently exclaimed : " The Emperor Charles and 
your master, what do they want more? to rule the whole 
earth? Do they count themselves no less than the gods? " 
Naturally nothing was accomplished by such recrimination, 
and finally Suleiman ended the audience, dismissing the am- 
bassadors with the threat : " Your master has not yet felt our 
friendship and neighborliness, but he shall soon feel it. 
You can tell your master frankly that I myself with all 
my forces will come to him to give Hungary in our per- 
son the fortresses he demands. Inform him that he must 
be ready to treat me well." 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 



79 



So ended the mission of Ferdinand for peace. There had 
been no possibility of success from the beginning. Sulei- 
man and Ibrahim were not to be won to friendship for 
Ferdinand, and had they been, the rude, independent Hobor- 
danacz was not the man to gain Oriental favor. One feels 
that Ibrahim enjoyed the opportunity to sharpen his claws 
on an enemy, and to show Europeans his own power and 
that of his master. The envoys must have been very un- 
comfortable, and their discomforts were not yet at an end, 
for a Venetian enemy of Ferdinand's told Ibrahim that they 
were not ambassadors but spies, and urged their detention 
at the Porte. For five months they were kept in close con- 
finement, after which a long journey lay between them and 
the anxious Archduke who had hoped so much from the 
embassy. 

This treatment of royal ambassadors as though they were 
spies was not uncommon at the Porte. The King of Poland 
had been forced to complain of the rough handling of his 
envoys by Sultan Bayazid (Suleiman's grandfather), saying 
they were not only detained for months before they were 
given audience, but were thrown into prison, and instead of 
being lodged like the envoys of a king, who would naturally 
feel that it accorded with his honor to send only the sons of 
the noblest families to represent him, were treated as crimi- 
nals, and that promises made to such envoys were often 
broken. 1 Busbequius, himself an ambassador, who was de- 
tained for months and sharply watched, recounted another 
instance, that of Malvezzi, whom the Sultan held responsible 
for the broken faith of his master Ferdinand, and threw 
into prison when Ferdinand took Transylvania in I55I. 2 It 
was a Turkish maxim that ambassadors were responsible for 

1 Zinkheisen, ii, p. 54. 

1 Busbequius, op. cit., p. 175. 



80 IBRAHIM PASHA 

the word given by their masters, and that in their capacity 
as hostages they must expiate its violation ; moreover power 
was often conceived to reside in an ambassador, who 
therefore was kept in durance in the hope that he could be 
brought to terms. Such treatment, however naive and 
unjust, is nevertheless an improvement on the reception by 
Hungary of the ambassador sent to announce the accession 
of Suleiman, whose nose and ears were slit. Further il- 
lustrations of the way ambassadors were liable to be treated 
in Europe were the assassination of Rincon, envoy of 
France, connived at by Charles V, and the murder of Mar- 
tinez, a Spanish ambassador to the Porte, instigated by 
Ferdinand. 

Ibrahim's usual way of opening an audience was to brow- 
beat the ambassador, and he indulged in frequent sarcasm 
and scornful laughter. To the envoys of Ferdinand in 
1532 he railed at Ferdinand and " his tricks " and gibed at 
his faithlessness. " How is a man a king " he said " unless 
he keeps his word ?" * To Larnberg and Juritschitz ( 1 530) 2 
he spoke of the quarrels among Christian rulers, twitting 
his auditors with Charles's treatment of the Pope and of 
Francis I, declaring that the Turks would never do " so in- 
human a thing," and following this by a long talk " full of 
scorn and irony." 3 

Ibrahim was enormously inquisitive, seeming to look upon 
a foreign embassy as an opportunity for gaining all sorts of 
general information. Sometimes he asked about such prac- 
tical matters as the fortification of certain forts; at other 
times he asked such trivial questions as how old the 

1 Gevay, Bericht Josephs von Lamberg und Nicholaus Juritschits an 
Koenig Ferdinand I, Lins, 23 Feb. 1531. 
9 Bericht Lamberg, Gevay, i, p. 27. 
3 " Ein lange Red mitt vil schpotlichen worten volpracht." Ibid. 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 8l 

rulers were, and how they pronounced their names. He 
once remarked that a man who did not try to learn all 
things is an incompetent man. Several times he boasted 
that in Turkey they knew all that was taking place in 
Europe. 

His manner, as we have seen, was usually sharp and rude, 
but he could be elaborately courteous when he wished to 
please, as when he received an embassy from " our good 
friend" Francis I, and the Hungarian embassy of 1534. 
He was invariably boastful; during the earlier years he 
bragged of the sultan, his power and treasure; in the later 
embassies he boasted of himself. 

One of the most important documents about Ibrahim that 
we possess is the account of the peace embassy sent by Fer- 
dinand in 1533, the report being written by Hieronymus 
von Zara in Latin in September, 1533. This shows Ibrahim 
in a sharper light than we have had elsewhere, and brings 
out some traits in his character that have been growing 
steadily since his rise to such great power: his ambition 
and his towering pride. 1 

Ibrahim, splendidly clad, received the ambassadors for 
their first audience, without rising. He accepted the rich 
jewels they offered him, and appointed a later day for the 
business of the treaty. On the appointed day the envoys 
were permitted to kiss the garments of the grand vizir, and 
they saluted him as brother of their sovereigns, Ferdinand 
and Queen Marie of Hungary. Ibrahim had never acknowl- 
edged the sovereignty of Ferdinand, and had always spoken 
of him without any kingly title, to the amaze of the am- 
bassadors. 2 In this interview and throughout the whole 

1 Gevay, ii, p. 348. 

" Er durchaus in alien Reden K. M. nit anders dan Ferdinandum 
und dye Khay M* Khunig zu Yspanie ganent." Bericht, p. 27. Ferdi- 
nand in his letters usually addressed Ibrahim as " Magnifice et prae- 



82 IBRAHIM PASHA 

conference Ibrahim spoke of Ferdinand as his brother, and 
as son to Suleiman. This was not mere personal vanity; 
under the pretext of the community of good which should 
exist between father and son he cloaked the Sultan's usur- 
pation of Hungary, and the fraternity of Ferdinand and 
Ibrahim served to disguise the humiliation of the former, 
who was placed in the same rank as a vizir. 1 But in the 
long speech that Ibrahim Pasha made to the ambassadors, 
he revealed his personal pride. We quote from the speech : 
" It is I who govern this vast empire. What I do is done ; 
I have all the power, all offices, all the rule. What I wish 
to give is given and cannot be taken away; what I do not 
give is not confirmed by any one. If ever the great Sultan 
wishes to give, or has given anything, if I do not please it 
is not carried out. All is in my hands, peace, war, treasure. 
I do not say these things for no reason, but to give you 
courage to speak freely." 2 

When the letters of Emperor Charles were shown him, 
he examined the seals, remarking as he did so : " My master 
has two seals, of which one remains in his hands and the 
other is confided to me, for he wishes no difference between 
him and me; and if he has garments made for himself, he 

sterne Vir," and closed " Ita est gratitudinis nostre effectum digne 
quandoque sentire valeatis." Cf. Gevay. 

Ibrahim, in a letter to Ferdinand, calls himself : " Cuius ego sum 
Guberna*or supremus regnorum omnium et Imperiorum Exercitum que 
sue felicissime ac potentessime Caesare Maiestatis magnus consiliatius 
super omnes dominos Ibraim bassa." July 4, 1533. Gevay, ii, p. 139. 

1 To the ambassador von Zara he said : " My master has many sand- 
jakbeys who are far more powerful than Ferdinand and have more land 
and power and subjects than he." Gevay, op. cit. 

* Se istud magnum Imperium regere. Quicquid ipse fecerit id factum 
est, omnem enim se potestatem habere. Omnia officia, omnia regna 
hebere. Quod ego inquit do hac est datum et manet datum. Quod ego 
nondo, id non est datum," etc. GeVay, iii. 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 83 

orders the same for me; he refuses to let me expend any- 
thing in building; this hall was built by him." 

Ibrahim seems to have lost his head during this, his last 
embassy, and to have uttered things that were not safe 
for any subject of an Oriental despot, however doting, to 
utter. Whether he spoke out of the sheer madness that the 
gods send upon those whom they would destroy, or whether 
he seriously aspired to assume literally and explicitly the 
power he held actually is impossible to say. Even as grand 
vizir of Turkey he seems never to have forgotten that he was 
a Greek. For years he ignored it, and behaved like a Turk 
and a loyal Moslem, but as he came to feel more secure, in 
his high position, he became more careless, and spoke to 
these Christian ambassadors of the pride and generosity 
with which the Greeks are rilled. It is a question whether 
any Greek, from the fall of Byzantium to our time, has not 
in his inmost heart felt his race superior to his Moslem 
conquerors, and the fitting ruler of the Eastern Empire. To 
that feeling are due some of the knottiest complexities in the 
Young Turk situation of 1911. Naturally this attitude has 
always been profoundly resented by the Turks; therefore 
Ibrahim was seriously jeopardizing his standing with the 
Ottoman Sultan when he remembered that he was both 
Greek and Christian by birth. 

There were plenty at the court to take immediate advant- 
age of any such slip. The courtiers had already been scan- 
dalized at the freedom the Pasha took with the Sultan, and 
thought that he had bewitched Suleiman. 1 In the same 
interview he further expresses his relations to his imperial 
master in a parable : 

1 Von Zara reports concerning a visit that Suleiman and Ibrahim 
made to Gritti : " Tuo insius adventu postea plurima mala Thurci dice- 
bant, appelantur Caesarem insensatum stultum maleficiatum ab Ibrahim 
et Gryti." Gevay, op. cit., iii, p. 26. 



84 IBRAHIM PASHA [190 

The fiercest of animals, the lion, must be conquered not by 
force, but by cleverness ; by the food which his master gives it 
and by the influence of habit. Its guardian should carry a 
stick to intimidate it, and should be the only one to feed it. The 
lion is the prince. The Emperor Charles is a lion. I, Ibra- 
him Pasha, control my master, the Sultan of the Turks, with 
the stick of truth and justice. Charles' ambassador should 
also control him in the same way. 

From this he went on to expatiate on his own power : 

The mighty Sultan of the Turks has given to me, Ibra- 
him, all power and authority. It is I alone who do every- 
thing. I am above all the pashas. I can elevate a groom to 
a pasha. I give kingdoms and provinces to whom I will, with- 
out inquiry even from my master. If he orders a thing and 
I disapprove, it is not executed ; but if I order a thing and he 
disapproves, it is done nevertheless. To make war or con- 
clude peace is in my hands, and I can distribute all treasure. 
My master's kingdoms, lands, treasure, are confided to me. 

He also boasted of his past accomplishments, speaking 
of himself as having conquered Hungary, received ambassa- 
dors, and made peace. If Suleiman knew of these vaunt- 
ings, he made no sign of resentment, but continued to re- 
pose the same confidence in Ibrahim as hitherto, but the 
courtiers held them in their hearts to use when the time 
should come. 

Ibrahim's importance and influence are taken for granted 
by foreign rulers and envoys. In all his instructions to his 
ambassadors Ferdinand tells them to see Ibrahim first, and 
the queen regent of France wrote to him, when she wrote to 
the sultan. The collections of Gevay and Charriere contain 
a number of letters from Ferdinand and Francis to Ibrahim. 
The Venetian baillies transacted all their business with 
Ibrahim and sent many reports to the Signoria of his power 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 85 

in the state and his influence over the sultan. The envoys 
brought him valuable presents which he did not hesitate to 
accept. 1 He loved to receive jewels and there was a fam- 
ous ruby once on the finger of Francis I which was sent 
by the first French envoy to the Porte, (the envoy who was 
killed in Bosnia) and which somehow came into Ibrahim's 
possession when the Pasha of Bosnia was called to Con- 
stantinople to account for the murder. 2 

But although Ibrahim took presents, and even resented it 
if they were not offered him, he refused bribes again and 
again. Ferdinand empowered his envoys in three missions 
to offer an annual pension to Suleiman (a tribute under a 
name less offensive to Ferdinand) and at the same time an 
annual pension to the grand vizir. When Juritschitz and 
Lamberg offered Ibrahim five to six thousand Hungarian 
ducats s annually for his aid in bringing about peace, he re- 
jected it so indignantly that they apologized and withdrew 
their offer. He said that the previous ambassadors Hobor- 
danacz and Weixelberger had offered him one hundred 

1 Presents to men in power were usual. In connection with the pay- 
ment to Mehmet Sokolli, a later vizir, of ten thousand zechinen and 
the promise of thirty thousand more if he succeeded in making peace 
for Venice, Moritz Brosch writes : " Solche Geschenke waren eine uralte 
orientalische Sitte, und denzeit auch an den Hoefen des Abendlandes 
etwas Gewoehnliches ja Unausweichliches. Waehrend des 16 Jahrhun- 
derts bildeten sie eine stehende Rubrik in Soil und Haben der Diplo- 
matic ; in London war bei Wolsey, in Spanien der Reihe nach bei 
Chievres, Covas dem jungeren Granvella und Lerma, in Frankreich bei 
den Hoefflingen und Staatsmaennern Ludwig XII und Franzens und 
der zwei Heinriche, nichts ohne Geld zu richten. Foermlich beneidet 
wurde die Pforte weil sie es nicht noetig hatte fur die Korruption 
Christlicher Regierung Summen auszuselzen." Brosch, Aus den Leben 
Dreier Grossvizere (Gotha, 1899), p. 48. 

1 Bericht de Schepper 1533. Gevay, op. cit., i, p. 27. 

A Hungarian ducat was worth about $2.34, with doubtless much 
greater purchasing power in the sixteenth century. 



86 IBRAHIM PASHA [192 

thousand florins to buy his protection, but that he said then 
and would now repeat that no sort of present could make 
him desert the interests of his master, and that he would 
prefer to aid in the conquest of the whole world than advise 
the Sultan to restore conquered territory. 1 

The passage just quoted would seem sufficient to dis- 
prove the assertion made by contemporary European his- 
torians that Ibrahim Pasha had lifted the siege of Vienna 
because he had been bought by the gold of the ambassadors. 
Suleiman gave him everything that he could have asked and 
much more than lay in the power of any European monarch 
to bestow. Ibrahim acquired vast wealth, but there is no 
evidence that his loyalty to Suleiman could be purchased, 
and while the Turkish historians speak often of the avarice 
of his successor Rustem Pasha, they never ascribe that 
quality to Ibrahim. If he had a price, it was too high for 
Ferdinand to pay. 

It is apparent from what has been said that Ibrahim's 
diplomatic methods were not subtle; they had no need to 
be. As the diplomacy of the Porte was usually either the 
introduction to, or the conclusion of a military campaign, 
small wonder that it usually attained its object. As the 
favor of the Porte was eagerly sought by France, Venice, 
Poland, Russia, Hungary and Austria, it required no 
] finesse of diplomatic handling to deal with their ambassa- 

1 Die forigen potschaften hattenime von E. M. auch hunderttausend 
Gulden verheissen er solle helfen das sein Keiser E. M. die Flecken 
gab : ich hab innen gesagt aber gesagt und sage e ens solches auch das 
wir nit gedenkhen sollen dass er von Gelz wegen seines herrn Nachtheil 
raten wolle Er sey in obgemelten seines Herrn Schatz zu greifen 
gewellig wann er will er welt lieber seinem Keyser helfen alle Welt 
unterzusprinen, nit das er land und leut welchgeben soil. Er sey auch 
pey innen nit der Gebrauch das man Gelt und Miet neme und dem hern 
sein Nachtheil rate, oder seinem Schaden verhelfe, wie wir begert darum 
schweigt diesen Reden stil." Gevay, i, Bericht Lamberg und Juritschitz. 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 87 

dors. Ibrahim, holding all the trumps, needed no great" 
skill to play his cards well. He might be as rude and boast- 
ful as he would, and still the ambassadors would beg for 
his influence in making peace. Both Suleiman and Ibrahim 
treated Charles V and Ferdinand with great haughtiness, 
nevertheless pursuing an entirely successful policy; France, 
on the other hand, playing a subtle game, won consider- 
able from the Porte. It would seem that the test of Turk- 
ish diplomacy was not its method but its general plan and 
large lines. The question then before us is, what were the 
objects and accomplishments of Turkish diplomacy between 
1525 and 1540. 

Suleiman had two objects, first to extend his conquering^ 1 
power further into Europe, and second to assist Francis I 
against the House of Hapsburg. In these two objects he 
was successful. His empire was greatly extended during his 
reign, both in territory and in influence, while the power of 
the rival House of Hapsburg was steadily diminished and 
limited. But that which makes of this period an epoch in 
European political history is not the territorial aggrandize- 
ment of Turkey, nor the recognition of its power by 
Europe, but the first entrance of Turkey into the European 
concert, if we may anticipate a later term, and the, change 
from the consideration of the Turks asrneflelyjinbelievers 
anTf iffi8 Of Christianity to^regardmg them as political 
allies or foes, and as possible factors in ._lfre'Jiur.opean ques- 
tion.^ At the close of the reign~o~Fl5eTim the Grim, Turkey, 
although it was a conquering nation, was still an excres- 
cence in Europe. But the time had come when it must enter 
into the affairs of the Northern nations, and for that time 
Suleiman, unusually tolerant towards the West, with a great 
idea of the destiny of Turkey, and aided by his Christian 
grand vizir, was ready, and by the end of his reign he had 
made himself felt in every court on the continent, and had 



88 IBRAHIM PASHA 

-f"fo be reckoned with in every European cabinet. But as a 
/ natural corollary to this fact, Turkey was never, after this 
time, wholly free from European influence. The fine wedge 
of French intervention was introduced by La Forest in the 
treaty of 1535, and conservative Turks of today look on 
Suleiman's " capitulations " as the beginning of endless 
troubles for Turkey, while the French still rejoice over the 
triumphs of astute and far-sighted Francis I. " Suleiman en 
sortant de son farouche isolement," says Zeller, " Francois 
I 6 *" en bravant les preventions de ses contemporaries, ac- 
complirent une veritable revolution dans la politique de 
I 1'Europe." * For four centuries France remained the most 
1 weighty foreign influence at the Porte. A fuller signi- 
\ ficance lay in what Lord Stratford de Redcliffe called the 
V^' extra-koranic " character of the concessions made in this 
reign, the introduction of extra-koranic legislation in both 
foreign and internal affairs, by the side of the maxims and 
rules of the Sheri or Holy Law. Turkey began to discover 
the inadequacy of Koran legislation for a modern state. 2 

How much did Ibrahim Pasha influence Suleiman in this 
policy? He undoubtedly had the details in his own hands, 
but did he inspire the plan ? Probably not. Suleiman knew 
pretty clearly what he wanted, and he pursued the same 
policy with the same success after the death of Ibrahim. 
His contemporaries ascribed to Ibrahim the brain and the 
force of Turkish diplomacy, and later historians have given 
to him the exclusive credit of this political evolution. But 
Zeller's view 8 that too much importance may be given to 
the role of Ibrahim Pasha seems better substantiated. 
Zeller, nevertheless, in his introduction to La Diplomatic 

1 Zeller, op. cit., Introd., p. 23. 

1 Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, The Eastern Question (London, 
1881), p. 99. 
8 Zeller, op. cit., Introd., p. 23. 



IBRAHIM THE DIPLOMAT 89 

Frangaise, accords to Ibrahim just that credit that peculiarly 
belongs to him, if we have rightly understood the work of 
the grand vizir, when he says : " Suleiman was not less en- 
lightened than Francis; he had, as well as the latter, the 
knowledge of his own interests, and like him he was par- 
tially enfranchised from the prejudices of his nation. . . . 
At the same time we cannot doubt but that the grand vizir, 
whose ability and enlightenment are attested by all the 
ambassadors, contributed to open the mind of his master 
to the ideas outside his realm, to initiate him into a European 
Policy, to make him see the menace of the increasing power 
of Charles V, and the interest which he had to support 
France ". In the unusual liberality of thought and freedom 
from prejudice that Suleiman showed in his relation to 
Europe, we may see the influence of his intelligent favorite. 

Thus the two together, Suleiman and Ibrahim, or Ibra- 
him and Suleiman, as Ferdinand often spoke of them, started 
the Ottoman Empire from the lonely path of independence 
and semibarbarism to the labyrinthine and noisy streets of 
European politics. 



CHAPTER IV 

IBRAHIM THE GENERAL 

SULEIMAN'S reign was one of continuous war, and for 
the most part, conquest. His two most redoubtable enemies 
were the infidel Hungarians and the heretic Persians. 
His first great campaign was directed against Belgrad, 
which important city he took in 1521. This conquest he 
followed quickly by the victorious siege of Rhodes in 1522. 
In these two campaigns, Ibrahim seems to have taken no 
part, although he accompanied Suleiman to Rhodes in his 
capacity of favorite. 1 But in the first Hungarian campaign 
the grand vizir Ibrahim was placed second in command, the 
sultan himself leading the expedition. 

D'Ohsson gives an account of the ceremonial that used 
to precede war in Turkey. 2 He says that the Porte never 
failed to legitimize a war by a fetva from the Sheik-ul- 
Islam given in grand council, after which the sheiks of 
the imperial mosques met in the Hall of the Divan and 
listened to the intoning of a chapter from the Koran, con- 
secrated to military expeditions. The first war measure 
was the arrest of the ambassador of the country to be at- 
tacked, who was taken to the Seven Towers. The next day 
a manifesto was published and sent to each foreign legation; 
then followed a Hat-i-Shereef conferring command on the 

1 Von Hammer quotes from Suleiman's Journal a remark of Sulei- 
man's to Ibrahim on the occasion of the appearance of the grand vizir 
before the sultan, op. cit., vol. v, p. 41. 

2 Op. cit., vol. iii, p. 418 et seq. 

[196 



IBRAHIM THE GENERAL 91 

grand vizir. With the order he received a richly capar- 
isoned steed and a jeweled sabre, at a most brilliant cere- 
monial. Generally war was declared in the autumn, the 
winter was occupied in preparation, and the campaign was 
undertaken in the spring. At the day and hour appointed 
by the court astrologer, the imperial standard was planted 
in the court of the grand vizir or the Sultan, while imams x 
filled the air with blessings and chants. Forty days later 
the first encampment was set up with further ceremonies. 

The splendor of the Turkish tents, arms and dress were 
admired by all observers. A Turkish camp was a lively 
place, crowded by priests, dervishes, adventurers and volun- 
teers, irregular soldiers, servants, tents, and baggage; and, 
on the homeward way, laden with slaves and booty. 

The Turkish army was at that time the finest in Europe, 
both in extent and discipline. The Turks were a fighting 
p'eople, whose arms had steadily won them place and power 
from the time when their colonel Othman interfered in a 
Seljuk quarrel to the time when Suleiman's armies were the 
terror of Europe, and the few hundred tents of Othman 
had become the extensive and powerful Ottoman Empire. 
The army grew and developed with the demands of the 
state, for as we have seen above, the army was the state. 
As Mr. Urquhart puts it : : 2 " The military branch in- 
cludes the whole state. The army was the estates of the 
kingdom. The Army had its Courts of Law, and its oper- 
ations on the field have never been abandoned to the caprice 
of a court or a cabinet." 

Mr. Urquhart classifies the Turkish army under three 
main heads : 3 

1 Imams are Moslem priests, combining with their religious functions 
those of notary publics. 

1 David Urquhart, The Military Strength of Turkey, London, 1869, 
p. 76. 

3 Op. cit., p. 87. 



92 IBRAHIM PASHA [ I9 8 

I. Permanent troops: janissaries, hired cavalry and regi- 
mental spahis of the grand artillery, etc. 

II. Feudal troops. 

III. Provincial troops (Ayalet Askeri). 

He reckoned the number of troops at the close of the six- 
teenth century as follows : 

PERMANENT. 

Janissaries 50,000 

Spahis 250,000 

Artillery, armourers, etc 50,000 

Guards besides those drafted from Janissaries and Spahis 
war levies : 

Akinji 40,000 

Ayab 100,000 

Ayalet Askeri (cavalry) 40,000 

Miri Askeri (infantry 100,000 

Some explanation of these names will be desirable. The 
feudal and provincial troops were those whose military ser- 
vice was demanded by the feudal tenure of the timars or 
fiefs. Of the permanent troops, the celebrated body of the 
Spahis was recruited from the fiefs, sons of the Spahis being 
preferred, and were required to follow the banner of the 
Sultan himself. The Akinji were the light horse, the 
terror of the Germans and the Hungarians. The Ayab 
were infantry, a sort of Cossack on foot, as the Akin j is 
were Cossacks on horseback without either the pay of the 
janissaries or the fiefs of the spahis. The famous corps of 
the janissaries was the heart of the army, the most pri- 
vileged, the most terrible, the most efficient of the soldiery. 
They were recruited from the children, taken in tribute 
from the conquered Christian states, a thousand a year, 
and generally became Moslems. The janissaries, the ar- 
tillery and the guards were the only soldiery paid from 
the treasury. The Turkish conquerors made war pay for 
itself, living on the conquered country and carrying home 



IBRAHIM THE GENERAL 93 

immense loot. At the close of his careful pamphlet, Mr. 
Urquhart makes an interesting distinction between Janis- 
sary and Turkish principles. He claims that the former 
are " violence, corruption, and prostration of military 
strength, exhaustion of the treasury, resistance to all, and 
therefore to beneficial, change." The Turkish principles, he 
claims, are altogether different and finer. 1 

The Turkish artillery was very formidable. It was by 
means of this and the setting of mines that Belgrad and 
Rhodes had been taken. There was no navy. There were 
a number of pirates, freebooters who put themselves at the 
service of the Sultan and won some considerable navaJ 
victories, but they were not a part of the regular Turkish 
force. 

One constant order of battle was observed. The pro- 
vincial troops of Asia formed the right wing, and those of 
Europe the left, the center being composed of regular 
bodies of cavalry and infantry, the janissaries forming the 
front line. In Europe the home contingents occupied the 
right wing. Thus were combined permanent and disciplined 
infantry and cavalry with irregular foot and horse ; a feudal 
establishment with provincial armaments, and forces raised 
by conscription, by enlistment, and by tribute. By this ar- 
rangement the sultan could bring three enormous armies 
into the field simultaneously in the heart of Europe and 
Asia. 2 

A quaint description of the discipline of the Turkish army 
in 1585 was given by one William Watreman in his book 
entitled " The Fardle of Facions ", who thought that the 
speed, the courage and the obedience of the Turkish sol- 
diers accounted easily for their great success in war for 
two hundred years, 8 and said that they were little given to 
mutinies and " stirs ". 

1 Op. cit., p. 93. * Urquhart, op. cit., p. 88. 

8 William Watreman, The Fardle of Facions, containing the Anciente 



94 IBRAHIM PASHA [ 2 oo 

Watreman was evidently not speaking of the privileged 
janissaries here, for they were greatly given to mutinies and 
" stirs." They realized the immense power that the army 
possessed, and how definitely the sultan was in their hands. 
That part of the army stationed at Constantinople as guard 
to His Imperial Majesty had it in their power to demand 
the degradation and the head of any hated official, and usu- 
ally these demands were granted. Authorized by the laws 
of their predecessors and their own as well, they might 
furthermore imprison the sultan himself, put him to death, 
and place on the throne one of his relatives as his suc- 
cessor. When all the corps of this militia of Constanti- 
nople unite under the orders of the Ulema, who give the 
weight of law to the undertaking, the despotic sultan passes 
from the throne to a prison cell, where a mysterious and 
illegal death soon removes him. 1 The long list of deposed 
sultans witnesses to this power. Little wonder then that 
Suleiman, after punishing the rebellious janissaries in 1525, 
planned to employ them immediately in a campaign. 

On Monday, April 23rd, Suleiman left Constantinople 
with 100,000 men and 300 cannon. 2 His grand vizir had 

Manners Customs and Laws of the Peoples Enhabiting the two Paries 
of the Earth called Africa and Asia. London, 1555. Hakluyt's Voy- 
ages, vol. v, p. 126. 

1 Stato Militaire dell' Imperio Ottomano, Marsigli, 1732. 

2 Petchevi and Kemalpashazadeh are the contemporary Turkish nar- 
rators of the campaign. Petchevi takes his account from his grand- 
father, who was an eye witness of Mohacz. Kemalpashazadeh was 
sheik-ul-Islam under Suleiman and writes an account that is at once 
that of poet and courtier, but should be fairly accurate as to the 
movements of the army. The Monumenta Hungariae Historica 
(Pest, 1857), vol. i, gives some Hungarian comment on the events. 
Solakzadeh and Abdulrahman 3heref give second-hand reports, while 
Leopold Kupelwieser has excellent volumes on the subject entitled 
"Die Karnpfe Oesterreichen mit den Osmanen." (Wien and Leipzig, 
1899). 



20I ] IBRAHIM THE GENERAL 95 

started a week in advance, commanding the vanguard of 
the army, larg-ely cavalry. At Sophia both armies en- 
camped, and the grand vizir is said to have " dressed his 
tent like a tulip in purple veilings." x From this point the 
two armies separated. Ibrahim Pasha threw a bridge 
across the Save, and advanced to Peterwardein, a natural 
fort on the foot-hills of the Fruska-Gora mountains, which 
was manned by a thousand poorly equipped soldiers. Sulei- 
man ordered Ibrahim Pasha to take Peterwardein, assur- 
ing him it would be but a bite to last him till breakfast in 
Vienna. 2 The sultan then proceeded to Belgrad. The 
grand vizir began preparations for the siege, storming lad- 
ders were laid, and on July I5th the first attack was made 
and repulsed with loss. The next night Ibrahim sent a 
division of the army to the other side of the Danube, and 
the fight continued all the following day until late evening, 
both by river and land, a flotilla of small boats being on the 
Danube. In a second assault the Turks pressed into the 
lower city, but they were again repulsed. Ibrahim, convinced 
that storming was less easy then he had thought, now pre- 
pared for a regular siege. After several day's fighting a 
great building in the fort fell, and the walls were broached 
in several places. Nevertheless the besieged withstood two 
more assaults, and made a sally by which the Turks sus- 
tained great loss. At length Ibrahim laid mines under the 
walls of the fort, and on the 23rd day of July, twelve days 
from the first attack, an explosion, followed by a great as- 
sault and hard fighting, resulted in the taking of the place. 
Only ninety men were left to lay down their arms. The 
Turkish loss also had been heavy. 5 

I Kemalpashazadeh, Histoire de la Campagne de Mohacz. Trans, by 
Pavet de Courteille, Paris, 1869. 

II Kupelwieser, op. cit., p. 227. 

8 Letter from Ferdinand of Austria to his sister. " Comme les turcz 



96 IBRAHIM PASHA [ 2 Q2 

The successful siege, and doubtless also the rich reward 
of his padisha, decided Ibrahim Pasha to besiege Illok on 
the Danube, which he took in seven days. The sultan now 
announced that the objective point of the expedition was 
Buda. The Turkish army advanced along the Danube, 
devastating as it went, to the marshy plain of Mohacz. 
Here there was a battle of the first importance in its poli- 
tical results, as we have seen above, for it routed the 
Hungarian army, killed King Lewis, and gave Hungary 
into Suleiman's hands. It was a brief and bloody battle, 
lasting but two hours. Petchevi gives picturesque scenes 
before the battle, and tells of the vast enthusiasm that seized 
" the holy army ", while Kemalpashazadeh gloats particu- 
larly on " the bloody festival." The plan of the battle was 
made by the sultan in conjunction with his grand vizir, who 
visited the former several times during the evening preced- 
ing the battle. At dawn on August 29th, 1526, the Turk- 
ish army emerged from a wood and appeared before 
the Hungarians. First came the army of Roumelie, a 
part of the janissaries, and the artillery under Ibrahim 
Pasha. Then came 10,000 janissaries and the artillery of 
Anatolia under Behram Pasha; behind him was the Sultan 
and his body guards, janissaries and cavalry. 

Towards noon the Sultan occupied the height command- 
ing the town and saw his enemies ranged before him. The 
first attack was made by the Hungarians and was success- 
ful in producing confusion in the Turkish ranks. But the 
Turks rallied, and the Akin j is drew off the attack. Ibrahim 
was always in the forefront, animating his men and " fight- 
ing like a lion." " By acts of intrepidity he snatched from 
the hearts of his heroes the arrow of the fear of death. 

ayans donne plusieurs assaulx au chasteau de Peterwardein quils tien- 
quient assiege y ont perdus bcaucop de leuers gens comme de X ou 
XII in hommes." Monumenta Hungariae Historica, vol. i, p. 37. 



203] IBRAHIM THE GENERAL 97 

He restored their failing spirits. Before the most fearful 
weapons he never moved an eyelash." x King Lewis, with 
thirty brave followers, pushed towards the Sultan in a des- 
perate attempt to take his life, but it was the young king 
himself who fell instead in the terrible fight. The artillery, 
discharging its first volley, caused frightful confusion espec- 
ially in the left wing. The Hungarian right wing, sur- 
rounded on all sides, broke and fled, being cut down by the 
Turks, or drowned in the marsh. The slaughter was fear- 
ful, as no prisoners were taken. 2 The battle was so tragic 
to the Hungarians that to this day, when disaster overtakes 
one of them, the proverb is quoted : " No matter, more was 
lost on Mohacz field." 3 

The artillery of the grand vizir seems to have turned 
the day and rendered the victory decisive for the Turks. 
The following day Suleiman, seated under a scarlet pa- 
villion, on a golden throne brought from Constantinople, 
received the congratulations of his vizirs and beylerbeys 
and with his own hand placed an aigrette of diamonds 
on the head of his grand vizir. In gruesome contrast 
to this splendor was a pyramid of one thousand heads 
of noble Hungarians piled before the imperial tent. 
Mohacz was burned, and the Akinjis harried the country 
in horrid fashion, 4 while the main army marched on to 
Buda. Here the keys of the city were offered to Suleiman, 
and the campaign was ended, except for the march back to 
Constantinople, with its details of massacre and spoliation. 5 

1 Kemalpashazadeh, op. cit., p. 95. 

2 Kemalpashazadeh, op. cit., p. 104. 

s Ferdinand of Austria naturally did not feel so strongly. Cf. letter 
to Margaret in 1526. Mon. Hung. Hist., vol. i, p. 41. 

4 Even the Sheik-ul-Islam acknowledges this, gloating over the fall 
of the enemies of God. Kemalpashazadeh, op. cit., p. 107. 

5 " The spoils are Gods of the Apostles : fear God and settle it among 
yourselves." Koran, Surah VIII. 



98 IBRAHIM PASHA [204 

The credit for this successful Hungarian campaign is as- 
cribed to the grand vizir by three very good authorities. 
Ibrahim himself, in a speech to the ambassador von Zara, 
claims to have conquered Hungary : x the sultan, in a letter 
of victory to his provinces, gives honor to Ibrahim; and 
the shiek-ul-Islam Kemalpashazadeh, in his epic history of 
the battle of Mohacz, lavishes praise on the grand vizir as 
commander of the armies on that field. '* Heaven has 
never seen," he rhapsodizes, " and never will see a combat 
equal to that by the prince of the champions of the faith, of 
this Asaf of Wisdom, this experienced general, this lion- 
hearted Ardeshir, I mean Ibrahim Pasha. 2 The enemy of 
the enemies of the Holy War, in an instant he repulsed the 
shock of the enemies of the faith." 3 

Suleiman in his letter gives Ibrahim credit for the taking 
of Peterwardein and Illok. As to Mohacz he says : 4 

" The accursed king (Lewis) accompanied by the soldiers of 
perdition fell before the army of Roumelie, which was com- 
manded by the Beylerbey of Roumelie, my grand vizir, Ibra- 
him Pasha (May Allah glorify him eternally!). It was then 
that the hero displayed all his innate valor." 

The first mention of Ibrahim in this letter is in the follow- 
ing terms : 

" The leopard of strength and valor, the tiger of the forest 

^'!;?Flf|T|9?ll|fflire r l*IJ!l 

1 " Ego inquit vici Hungaros. Magnus Caesar non interfuit prelio 
sad tantum audito clamore, conscendit equum et volebat succurere. 
Sed ego confestim misi nuncium, victoriam iam partam este." Gevay, 
op. cit., vol. ii, p. 22. 

3 Asaf was Solomon's traditional vizir. Ardeshir was a famous Sas- 
sanian king. 

8 Kemalpashazadeh, op. cit. 

* The letter is given at the end of the translation of Kemalpashazadeh, 
p. 145 et seq. 



205] IBRAHIM THE GENERAL 99 

of courage, the hero filled with a holy zeal, the Rustem of 
the arena of victory, the lion of the restoration of dominion, 
the precious pearl of the ocean of all power, the champion of 
the faith, the Grand Vizir, Beylerbey of Roumelie, Ibrahim 
Pasha," 1 

\ .^m 

The flowers of the Sultan's rhetoric may be accepted as 
a matter of course, but the fact that he mentions Ibrahim 
as deserving of any share in the glory of the imperial con- 
quests is noteworthy, as in his letters of victory he usually 
reserves all the honor for Allah and himself. 2 

The campaign of Vienna was the next military event for 
Ibrahim. It was on the eve of this expedition that Sulei- 
man invested the grand vizir with the office of Serasker. 3 

Says Petchevi: 

One day, going from the Divan to the Vizir Khaneh, the great 
Lord and Conqueror calling the slaves before his presence ad- 
dressed them with eloquent and pearl-scattering words and 
with divine proceedings, saying : " Nothing prevents our ex- 
tending our arms at once to all parts of our land, but in every 
case we cannot personally conduct affairs. Therefore we for- 
mulate a berat-i-shereef that Ibrahim Pasha, in the name of 
Serasker may receive obedience and respect. 

Here Petchevi quotes the berat that was given in Chapter 
III, and then continues with an account of the splendid 
presents sent to Ibrahim with the berat, and the congratula- 
tions of all the ulema and vizirs. 4 According to D'Ohsson. 
the investiture of Ibrahim was unusually splendid and 

1 Cf. Sadullah Said in Solymannameh, who speaks of Ibrahim Pasha 
as conqueror of Roumelie, p. 81. 

2 Mejmoua Menshaat el Selatin. ed. by Feridoun Bey, Stambul. 
8 Ser means head, and asker army in Turkish. 

4 Petchevi, op. cit., p. 128. 



I00 IBRAHIM PASHA [206 

solemn. He tells of processions in the streets and visits 
to the palace and continued cermonial after the army had 
started. When the ambassadors had visited him with con- 
gratulations and hopes of his success, he always replied : 

" Marching under the divine protection, under influence 
of the sacred banner, under the auspices of the grandest, 
most powerful of monarchs, I hope to gain brilliant vic- 
tories over the enemies of the empire, and soon return 
triumphant." * 

It is not possible to go into all the details of the famous 
first siege of Vienna, to which entire books have been de- 
voted. 2 Our account of it must be brief. On Septem- 
ber 28th, 1529, Ibrahim Pasha stood before Vienna with 
the Roumelian troops, and by the 28th the main body 
of the army headed by the sultan was encamped before 
the city. The defenses of Vienna were in bad repair, 
with only 16,000 men and 72 guns, against a Turkish 
army of 300,000. The garrison was commanded by Philip 
of Bavaria, Ferdinand remaining in Linz, in hopes of aid 
from the German princes. The defenders of the city made 
desperate efforts to strengthen it, tearing down houses that 
stood too close to the walls, leveling suburbs that might pro- 
tect the enemy, and erecting earthen defences and new 
walls where necessary. To save some of the horrors of the 
siege, the old men, the women and children, and the priests 
were forced to leave the city. 3 Suleiman thought the tak- 
ing of this stronghold would be easy, and summoned the 
garrison to surrender, saying that if they refused he would 
breakfast in Vienna on the third day, and would spare no 

1 D'Ohsson, op. cit., vol. iii, p. 422. 

2 Cf. Von Hammer, Wiens erste aufgehobene tiirkische Belagerung 
(Pesth, 1829) : also Schimmer, and after him Ellesmere, The Sieges 
of Vienna by the Turks, (London, 1879). 

8 Schimmer, op. cit., p. 16. 



207] IBRAHIM THE GENERAL IO i 

one. But the third day passed and many others and the 
Turks were still digging under the towers and walls and 
laying mines. They had been compelled by heavy rains to 
leave their siege guns behind them, and had only field piece* 
and musketry. The besieged replied to mine by countei- 
mine and effectually circumvented the Turkish plans. 
Storming parties of the Turks were met by sallies from the 
beleaguered, and Suleiman's breakfast, as the Viennese 
scornfully told him, was getting cold. Breaches made in 
the walls on October 9th and nth were repaired and de- 
fended by the undaunted Austrians, and after a splendid 
effort made on October I4th to storm the city, and an 
equally splendid and more successful resistance, the sultan 
was obliged to give up the siege. It was Suleiman's first 
defeat, and he found it hard to accept it, but winter was 
coming on, provisions were inadequate for so long a cam- 
paign, the army was discouraged, and furthermore, outside 
help was known to be on the way to the beleaguered city 
from all quarters. On October I4th the signal for retreat 
was given. The loss to the Turkish army was great, and 
that of the Viennese slight. 1 

Ibrahim Pasha had charge of the operations during the 
siege, and went often to reconnoiter the fortifications, dis- 
guised in a colored turban instead of the usual one of 
white and gold. 2 Count Christopher von Zedlitz, a pris- 
oner in the Turkish camp, said : " In this expedition there 
was Ibrahim Pasha, who in this war counselled and directed 

" Le diet turc a perdu grand nombre de gens sans toutefois grande 
perte de ceulx estans au dicte Vienne." Letter of Ferdinand to Charles 
V , Gevay, op. cit., vol. i, p. 49. Kupelwieser gives the following fig- 
ures : 1700 Viennese killed and 100 inhabitants of the suburbs, 4000 
Turks killed, op, cit., chap. ii. 
J Gevay, ii, 28 ; also Ellesmere, op. cit., chap. 2. 



102 IBRAHIM PASHA [208 

everything." l There were at this seige, as in all campaigns, 
frequent largesses to keep up the courage of the soldiers. 
The grand vizir was surrounded by sacks of gold, of which 
he gave by the handsful when an enemy's head was brought 
in, or an important capture made. When the lure of gold 
was insufficient to arouse the ebbing courage of the soldiers 
in the prolonged siege, the officers with the grand vizir at 
their head urged them forward with blows of sticks and 
whips and sabres. On October I2th Ibrahim assembled the 
beys of Roumelie, spoke frankly of the discontent and hun- 
ger of the army, and urged one more assault, promising 
whether it were successful or not, to sound the retreat 
thereafter. 2 As we have seen, the assault was made and 
failed, and the siege was raised and the retreat commenced. 
When Suleiman left Vienna the grand vizir remained for 
some time with cavalry in the neighborhood of the city, 
partly to cover the retreat, and partly to rally the akinji 
scattered on plundering expeditions. He also received pro- 
posals for an exchange of prisoners, to which he replied 
as follows : 

Ibrahim Pasha, by the grace of God First Vizir, Secretary 
and Chief Councillor of the glorious, great and invincible Em- 
peror, Sultan Suleiman, head and minister of his whole 
dominion, of his slaves and sandjaks, Generalissimo of his 
armies : 

High-born, magnanimous officers and commanders; having 
received your writing sent by your messenger, we have di- 
gested its contents. Know that we are not come to take your 
city into our possession, but only to seek out your Archduke 
Ferdinand, whom however we have not found, and hence have 
waited here so many days, without his appearing. Yesterday 

1 For the original narrative of the Count von Zedlitz in the Turkish 
camp, see Ellesmere's book where it is quoted in full. 
1 Kupelwieser, op. cit., p. 145. 



209] 



IBRAHIM THE GENERAL 



moreover we set free three of your prisoners, for which meas- 
ure you should fain to do likewise of those in your possession, 
as we have desired your messenger to explain to you by word 
of mouth. You may therefore send hither one of your own 
people to seek out your countrymen, and without anxiety for 
our good faith, for what happened to those of Pesth was not 
our fault but their own. 

In this letter Ibrahim makes the statement which Sulei- 
man sent forth officially, namely, that the Turks did not 
wish to take Vienna, but only to meet Ferdinand. A mile 
away from the camp the sultan halted and received con- 
gratulations as for a victory, and dispensed rewards, the 
grand vizir receiving four costly pellisses and five purses. 1 

The next fortress to be besieged by Ibrahim Pasha was 
Guns, in 1532. This was the critical point of Suleiman's 
fifth Hungarian campaign. After the sultan alone had re- 
duced some thirteen minor forts, he associated the grand 
vizir with him in this great siege. The little fortress of 
Guns was brilliantly defended by Nicholas Jurischitz, who 
had met Ibrahim in former days when ambassador at the 
Porte. 

On August 9th the grand vizir encamped before Guns, 
and three days later Suleiman arrived. Many small 
cannon were used in this siege, the largest sending a ball the 
size of a goose egg, which was, nevertheless, very effective 
in destroying the battlements. Besides continual assaults, 
mines were laid, but it was twelve days before Ibrahim sum- 
moned the sturdy Jurischitz to surrender. Even then an- 
other assault was necessary, which was at first unsuccessful 
owing to a very curious event. The old men, women and 
children within the city, seeing the banners of the janissaries 
planted on the walls, uttered such piercing cries of fear and 

1 A purse contained 500 piastres. 



104 IBRAHIM PASHA [ 2 io 

horror that the assailants were seized with a panic as at 
something supernatural, and fled from the spot. But their 
return was so fierce that a breach was made, and the brave 
Jurischitz, wounded and helpless, was obliged to accept Ibra- 
him's terms. 1 Using his knowledge of the grand vizir's na- 
ture obtained during his embassy to the Porte, he played 
on his vanity and obtained very good conditions 2 . Guns 
was not pillaged, and only formally capitulated, ten janis- 
saries being allowed to remain an hour in the place in order 
to erect a Turkish standard. So Jurischitz, writing to Fer- 
dinand exclaims : " God Almighty delivered me and this 
people from the hand of tyranny, which honor all my life 
has not deserved." 

The delay and practical defeat sustained at Guns, to- 
gether with the defeat of another Turkish army which was 
to enter Austria by the Semmering Pass proved the saving 
of Vienna. Suleiman had announced that he did not in- 
tend to attack Vienna on this campaign; nevertheless his 
vast preparation and the counter-preparations of Charles V 
and of Germany suggested a more ambitious campaign than 
that which he carried out. In any case Suleiman decided to 
withdraw, and immediately after investing Gratz, which 
was well defended, he abandoned the enterprise and re- 
^Jurned to the Porte. 

When the Sultan made peace with Ferdinand in 1533, and 

/ temporarily ceased operations on his northern frontier, he 

/^.turned his attention to conquests in two other directions, 

1 Jurischitz wrote a report of this siege to his master Ferdinand, a 
French translation which is found in Charriere, vol. i, p. 215 etc, 
Also in Monumenta Hungariae Historica, vol. i, p. 169, cf. also 
Petchevi. 

2 "Jay bien apercu quil prenoit de bonne parte que je fasoie difficulte 
d'aller devers le Turc (Suleiman) et que je le tenoie en telle esti- 
macion." Charriere, vol. i, p. 219. 



2i i ] IBRAHIM THE GENERAL 105 

namely to the extension of his sea power, and to the re- 
duction of Persia. The romantic story of the exploits of 
his great admiral Khaireddin Barbarossa does not come 
into our field, but the Persian campaign is the next object 
of our attention. ^ 

Ever since Suleiman's accession to the throne the rela- 
tions of the Porte with the Shah of Persia had been strained. 
The only reason that this had not resulted in open war 
was because Suleiman was more deeply concerned in Hun- 
garian affairs. There was continual fighting on the fron- 
tier. When Shah Tahmasp succeeded his father Ismail, he 
was little inclined to humble himself before the Turkish 
monarch, so he resented an overbearing and threatening let- 
ter from Suleiman. Now seemed a favorable moment to 
execute the threat of war. The excuse was the betrayal of 
the Ottomans by the khan of Bitlis, who had gone over to 
the shah of Persia, while the Persians were irate because the 
Persian governor of Aserbaijan and Baghdad had joined 
the Turks and had taken with him the keys of Baghdad. 
The governor having been assassinated and Baghdad re- 
taken by the Persians, Suleiman determined on immediate 
war. 

Ibrahim, again invested with the office of serasker, was 
sent to Persia to retake Bitlis and Baghdad. He and 
his army marched as far as Konia, where he received 
the head of Sherefbey, after which he advanced to 
Aleppo to take up his winter quarters. 1 He occupied his 
leisure during the winter by taking several neighboring 
fortresses. His next plan was to move on Baghdad, but 
the defterdar Iskender Chelebi who accompanied the ex- 
pedition urged an immediate advance to Tebriz, recently 

1 An account of the splendid entrance into Aleppo is given by Master 
Anthony Jenkinson in Hakluyt's Voyages, vol. ii, pp. 225 et seq. 



I0 6 IBRAHIM PASHA [212 

abandoned by the shah, arguing that the fall of Tebriz 
would mean the taking of Baghdad. Ibrahim followed 
Iskender's suggestion, and arrived before Tebriz the I3th of 
July, 1534. Receiving the submission of many fortresses 
en route, he triumphantly entered the Persian capital. To 
avert the evils generally incident to a Turkish occupation, he 
set up a judge at Tebriz, and a strong guard. This was 
unusual self-restraint in a Turkish conqueror. At this time 
he suffered the loss of one of his armies in the defile of Kisel- 
jedagh, but otherwise he met only with victory and sub- 
mission. 

On the 27th of September Suleiman joined the grand 
vizir at Aoudjan and immediately rewarded him and the 
other beylerbeys for their successes. The united armies 
continued their march towards Hamadan. The lateness of 
the season made the crossing of the mountains very difficult. 
Many pack animals died and the artillery was mired in the 
bad roads. In that perilous situation the army was at- 
tacked by the enemy and suffered considerable loss in men 
and supplies. 

At last the army reached Baghdad. The governor sent 
a letter of submission, and then to secure his own safety, 
fled. The grand vizir immediately took possession of the 
city, shut the gates to prevent pillage, and sent the keys 
of the city to Suleiman who had not yet come up. Baghdad 
was the bulwark of the Persian empire and of great 
military importance. The army remained there four 
months while the sultan organized his new conquests. 
April 2nd, 1535, the Turkish army commenced its re- 
turn to its capital, making a march of three months to 
Tebriz and thence of six months to Stambul. 

In this campaign Ibrahim had little actual fighting, and 
slight use for the artillery and mines in which he was so 
well versed. The success of the campaign was due to the 



213] IBRAHIM THE GENERAL - 107 

terror excited by the reputation of the Turkish army, and the 
endurance with which it made terrible marches, equalling 
the celebrated marches of the generals of antiquity. 1 Fer- 
dinand of Hungary wrote Ibrahim congratulating him on 
this successful campaign. 

This was Ibrahim's last campaign. His career was cut 
short at this point. In this Persian expedition the grand 
vizir had some personal experiences which do not properly 
belong to an account of his generalship, but rather to the 
next chapter dealing with his fall. 

In these varied campaigns Ibrahim Pasha showed himself 
an able and generally successful general. In all of his 
battles and sieges he was defeated only at Vienna, and 
practically, although not nominally, at Guns. He was bril- 
liant in his attacks, especially with artillery, the battle of 
Mohacz being the best illustration of this. He was ex- 
cellent in mines and sieges, regardless of the fact that he 
did not succeed in reducing Vienna. He was strong in 
marching, as the great march across Persia witnesses. He 
generally had good control over his men, although at Vienna 
he failed to incite them to greater efforts. He was per- 
sonally brave and fearless, leading his troops and betaking 
himself to the point of greatest danger. He seems to have 
been less cruel than was usual among Turkish conquerors, 
although his army committed some horrid atrocities. He 
followed the usual custom of looting, which made war so 
attractive to the Turkish soldier. 2 He appreciated valor 

1 Abdulrahman Sheref says that the difficulties of this march make 
this campaign rank highest among Suleiman's expeditions, p. 239. 

2 Postel, op. cit., speaks of Ibrahim's looting of Hungary, and also 
says : "Arabistan, Serestan and Anatolia condemned him for the great 
pillage and exactions which he made, so much that the people were 
left (even the richest of them) with no carpet to sleep on, and the 
trees were taxed impossibly," p. 49. 



log IBRAHIM PASHA [214 

even in his enemies, as the story of his treatment of the 
prisoner Zedlitz and his freeing of him illustrates. 1 The 
credit for the conquests of this period must be divided be- 
tween Sultan Suleiman and his grand vizir, who was able to 
push all plans of Suleiman, whether military or diplomatic, 
to a fortunate conclusion. 

Original narrative of the Adventures of Count Christopher von Zed- 
litz in the Turkish Camps. From the collection of Baron von Erren- 
kel in the State Archives at Vienna. Tr. by Ellesmere, p. 47. 



CHAPTER V 

IBRAHIM'S FALL 

ON March 5th, I536 1 Ibrahim Pasha betook himself to 
the imperial palace in Stamboul to dine with the sultan and 
spend the night with his Majesty, according to a long es- 
tablished custom. In the morning his body was found with 
marks on it, showing that he had been strangled after a 
fierce struggle. 2 A horse with black trappings carried the 
dishonored body home, 3 and it was immediately buried in a 
dervish monastery in Galata, with no monument to mark its 
resting place. 4 His immense property fell to the crown, 5 
and Ibrahim Pasha, the mighty grand vizir, was dropped 
out of mind and conversation as though he had not prac- 
tically ruled the empire for thirteen years. 

What caused this abrupt extinction of Suleiman's love for 
his former favorite? Ibrahim naturally had many enemies, 
among them the most influential ones being the defterdar 
Iskender Chelebi, and Roxelana, the favorite wife of Sulei- 
man. These appear to have worked for years to poison 
Suleiman's mind against the grand vizir, but for a long 
time without success. 6 What charges could they bring 
against him? 

1 21 Ramazan, 942, A. H. 

2 Domenico Trevisano, Alberi, III, vol. i, p. 115. 

3 Jorga, p. 349. * Solakzadeh, Osmanzadeh. 

6 At the death of the grand vizir, his property was always confiscated. 
D'Ohsson, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 369. 

6 Baudier, Grimeston, p. 172, quoted by Solakzadeh, Abdulrahman 
Sheref, etc. Also Trevisano, " Rossane gelos a forre della potenza 
del gran-vizir," etc. 

2151 109 



IIO IBRAHIM PASHA [ 2 l6 

Ibrahim, we recall, was born a Christian, and probably 
accepted Islam only formally and not from conviction. 
Now and then in his career his Christian predilections ap- 
pear and always injure his reputation. One instance of 
this was the case of the infidel Cabyz, towards whom Ibra- 
him was accused of being over-lenient. Another illustra- 
tion of lack of consideration for Moslem prejudices was 
when he brought home from Buda three statues taken from 
the royal palace and set them up in the Hippodrome. This 
was in defiance of the Moslem rule, observed literally, to 
permit the display of "no images of anything in the 
heaven above, the earth beneath, or the water under the 
earth." Although Ibrahim was supported in this act by 
the tolerant sultan, it brought down on his head a clamor 
of horror. He was spoken of as an idolator, and the poet 
Fighani Chelebi composed a satire against him which was 
never forgotten. It ran: 

" Two Abrahams came into the world ; 
The one destroyed idols, the other set them up." 

The audacious poet paid for his wit with his life, but the 
satire remained popular. Ibrahim became less and less 
careful in religious matters as his power became more as- 
sured. A contemporary wrote: 

The opinionated pasha at the beginning of his power was 
very docile in every respect to the Holy Law, besides which 
it was his custom to consult wise men in every affair of his 
desire; and his faith in Islam was so strong that if some one 
brought a Koran to him, he would gracefully rise to his feet 
and kiss it and lay it on his forehead and hold it level with 
his breast, not one inch below. But later when he went to 
Baghdad as serasker and mixed with infamous or foolish peo- 
ple, his character changed to such a degree that he did not 
regard the lives of innocent men more highly than fine dust, 



2I y] IBRAHIM'S FALL III 

and if some one brought him as a gift a Koran or a beau- 
tifully-written manuscript, as he saw him approaching he 
would become angry and "refuse it, saying, " Why do you 
bring them to me ? There is no end to the good books that I 
possess," and sometimes he would revile the men. 1 

The Venetians seem to have regarded Ibrahim as favor- 
able to them, and needy Christians in the empire turned to 
him for help and sometimes were freed by him from cap- 
tivity and death. 2 His parents remained Christians. It is 
doubtful whether these last facts would arouse any feeling 
against the grand vizir; but the disregard of Moslem sen- 
sibilities noted above was very unwise and would give his 
enemies a point of attack although it was rather unlikely 
by itself to influence greatly the confidence of the sultan, 
a monarch noted for his unusual tolerance towards beliefs 
outside of Islam. But Ibrahim permitted himself another 
imprudence that was far more dangerous. 

As we have studied Ibrahim's career, we have seen the 
vast power that he gradually gathered into his hands, and 
we have noted the amazement with which European legates 
listened to his own accounts of his standing in the state. 
He was practically the ruler of the Ottoman empire, but 
there was one fact that he forgot; he was absolutely at 
the disposal of the sultan and could be disgraced or exe- 
cuted at the latter's caprice he was but the shadow of the 
" Shadow of God " on earth. 8 

1 Mustafa Chelebi, quoted by Abdulrahman Sheref and Petchevi, 
P- 195- 

1 Postal however, in his volume published in 1569, De la Republique 
des Turcs, claims that Ibrahim did not favor Christians but was a 
despot over them, accusing him of taking large amount of Venetian 
and other Christian property. " It is true " he acknowledges " that 
to deliver one or another Christian from prison or calumny, he saved 
him when the Christian could pay well," p. 61. 

3 A common title applied to the sultan. 



II2 IBRAHIM PASHA [ 2 i8 

On the Persian expedition he made the grave mistake of 
assuming the title of Serasker-Sultan. Although as von 
Hammer points out 1 the title of sultan was commonly borne 
by small Kurdish rulers in the country in which Ibrahim 
then was, yet at Constantinople there was but one sultan, 
and to usurp his title was to lay one's self open to the charge 
of unlawful ambition. 2 Moreover as Ahmed Pasha had 
assumed the title upon his revolt in Egypt, the association 
with disloyalty must have been very strong to Suleiman. 
There were plenty of courtiers ready to interpret his action 
thus in reporting to the sultan. Here was a charge that 
Suleiman could hardly ignore even though he might dis- 
believe it for a while. 

The immediate cause of Ibrahim's fall was his quarrel 
with Iskender Chelebi. 3 A relationship between the two 
men had long existed and for years had been unfriendly. 
When Ibrahim was sent to Egypt Iskender was in his train. 
Ibrahim's wealth and power were a source of envy to the 
defterdar, while the latter's personality seems to have be- 
come disagreeable to the grand vizir. On the expedition 
to Persia the smouldering hatred between the two men 
broke into flame. When Ibrahim proposed to take the title 
of Serasker-Sultan, the defterdar attempted to dissuade him 
and thus aroused Ibrahim's resentment. There was also 
an ostentatious display of wealth, the defterdar and the 
grand vizir each attempting to send to the army a larger 
number of more richly equipped soldiers, and each consider- 
ing the other's contribution mean. Insults were exchanged. 
At length Ibrahim accused the defterdar of taking money 

1 Von Hammer quotes the use of this title by Ibrahim, from Sulei- 
man's Journal, vol. v, p. 231. Cf. also Petchevi, p. 65. 

*Cf. Osmanzadeh, Solakzadeh, and Abdulrahman Sheref. 

3 This story is told by all the Turkish historians, generally with 
sympathy for Iskender. Cf. Abdulrahman, Petchevi, Solakzadeh. 



IBRAHIM'S FALL 1 1 3 

from the royal treasury, and brought witnesses against him 
who were probably in Ibrahim's pay. It became a war to the 
death between the two enemies. Ibrahim doubtless knew that 
if Iskender lived he himself would be sacrificed. So he ac- 
complished the disgrace and execution of the treasurer but 
he did not thereby secure his own safety. Iskender 
Chelebi, accused of intrigues against his master, as well as 
mismanagement of the public funds, was hanged at Bagh- 
dad. As he went to the gallows he sent a Parthian shot at 
his murderer. Calling for pen and paper, he made a written 
statement that not only was he guilty of conspiring with 
the Persians but that Ibrahim was equally guilty, and that 
the latter had plotted to attempt Suleiman's life, lured by 
Persian gold. 1 However we may doubt Iskender's honesty 
in making a statement that would draw down on his enemy 
his own fate, the Turkish sultan would be unlikely to ques- 
tion it, for among the Turks the testimony of a dying man 
or one led to execution is of very great weight. In law it 
outweighs that of forty ordinary witnesses. 2 

1 Cantimir, vol. ii, p. 313. Also Trevisano, op. cit. 

2 The testimony of the Venetian bailli here seems to us to outweigh 
the probably legendary tale told by Baudier, which however I will 
give. " The Sultanas ( Suleiman's mother and his wife Roxelana) ob- 
serve the murmuring of the people against the favorite, and what the 
great men speak of him, and tell Suleiman. Moreover as they were 
busy to destroy his greatness, they discover that the pasha favored 
the house of Austria, and had secret intelligence with the Emperor 
Charles V. This treachery being told to Suleiman, he decided upon 
Ibrahim's death, but required a dispensation from his oath never to 
disgrace Ibrahim while he lived. One of his learned men gave him 
a pleasant E'xpedit to free himself of the pasha and yet keep his 
word. 'You have sworn, Sire, not to put him to death while you 
are living; cause him to be strangled while you are asleep. Life con- 
sists in vigilant action, and he that sleeps doth not truly live; so you 
may punish his disloyalty and not violate your oath.' Suleiman sends 
for Ibrahim, and after they have supped he shows him his crimes by 
his own letters to Charles V and Ferdinand, reproaches him for his 



II4 IBRAHIM PASHA [ 22 O 

Suleiman's conviction of his vizir's guilt was further 
strengthened, as the Turkish chronicles relate,, by a vision in 
which the murdered defterdar appeared surrounded by a 
celestial halo. He reproached Suleiman for submitting to 
the usurpation of his grand vizir, and finally threw himself 
on the sultan as though to strangle him. 1 Suleiman, once 
convinced of Ibrahim's guilt or of the menace he was to his 
power, acted secretly and silently. He did not confront his 
favorite with accusations nor give him a chance to exculp- 
ate himself, 2 but disposed of him swiftly. As Lamartine 
says, 3 " Ibrahim's life ended without reverses and perhaps 
without other crimes than greatness," A brilliant career 
for thirteen years, even though followed by sudden disgrace 
and death, is a fate that might be envied by many. The 
abruptness of Ibrahim's fall is paralleled many times in 
Turkish history, which is full of sensational rises and falls. 
In the history of his life alone, we have seen Ahmed Pasha 
of Egypt and Iskender Chelebi rise to great heights and 
quickly descend to disgrace and death. It was the almost 
limitless possibility of rising, and the ever present danger 
of falling that constituted the fascination of Turkish public 
life. One could hardly start with a handicap too severe 
to prevent him from attaining greatness. On the other 
hand one was never sure of retaining for twenty-four hours 
the power, wealth and rank that he had attained, for a mo- 
ingratitude, and commands his mutes to strangle him while he him- 
self is asleep. He then goes to bed." 

The story of the evasion of the oath through the ingenuity of a 
" wise man " is plausible, being in entire keeping with Turkish custom, 
but Baudier gives no sources, and I have found none of the facts 
above stated, in any other record. 

1 Solakzadeh, Petchevi. 

2 Trevisano, III, i, p. 115. 

3 Histoire de I' Empire Ottoman, vol. ii, p. 338. 



22 1 ] IBRAHIM'S FALL 1 1 5 

mentary caprice of the monarch might end it abruptly. 
Even the sultan himself might suddenly be overthrown and 
fill a dungeon cell or a grave, while his successor taken 
from a harem or a prison ascended the mighty throne. No- 
where have life and its possibilities been more uncertain 
than on or near the Ottoman throne. 

Let us consider in conclusion the question of Ibrahim's re- 
lations to Suleiman. Was he a traitor or not ? Baudier says 
that Suleiman confronted Ibrahim with his own letters to 
Charles V and Ferdinand and that he had secret intelligence 
with the Austrians. In the papers collected by Gevay which 
seem complete as to the correspondence between Ibrahim 
and the Austrian ruler, there are no such letters, nor are 
they found in any other collection nor mentioned by the 
Austrians themselves. On the contrary, we have despatches 
from Ferdinand to Ibrahim written July 5th, 1535, March 
2 3> J 535> an d March 14, 1536, after his death, urging Ibra- 
him's continued offices and expressing gratitude for his ef- 
forts to keep peace between the two countries. 1 

The charge of collusion with the Austrians which we 
have examined and discussed in connection with the siege 
of Vienna we here dismiss as being supported by very in- 
sufficient data. What had Ibrahim to gain by accepting 
money or position from Charles? Could the latter give 
him the half of what .Suleiman lavished on him? The 
similar charge made by Iskender Chelebi when at the gal- 
lows, that Ibrahim had been induced by Persian gold to 
plan the assassination of the sultan falls to the ground for 
the following reasons ; lack of any other witness than Isken- 

1 One private note was as follows, and surely was not written to a 
traitor : " Pro ea tamen confidentia et existimatione in qua vos apud 
Dominum vestrum merito esse scimus, omittere non potuimus qum 
vobis tamquam rerum omnium directori secreto et Optimo atque etiam 
scientissimo ea super literis vestris significaremus que pro nunc re- 
quiruntur." Gevay II, 23. 



IBRAHIM PASHA [ 2 22 

der 1 and the discredit that ataches to a witness who was the 
vizir's fiercest and most desperate enemy, together with the 
fact that the Persians could offer Ibrahim nothing commen- 
surate with his wealth and power as grand vizir. 

I think then we may definitely put aside the charges of 
his being bought with either Persian or Austrian gold. 
But the most serious charge remains. Did he aspire to 
overthrow his master, and himself become sultan? Again 
our sources are silent or ambiguous. Let us inquire of the 
Turkish historians. " He fell into the net of the imagin- 
ation of kingship and power," z says Osmanzadeh, which 
might mean no more than the megalomania of which he 
gave so many signs. Sadullah Said Effendi expresses him- 
self with an equal vagueness : " Perhaps Ibrahim was caught 
in the net of the thought of partnership of the empire." 
Petchevi makes no charge. Solakzadeh and Abdulrahman 
Sheref consider Ibrahim's death a just punishment for his 
treatment of Iskender, but prefer no severe charge. 4 The 
Venetians make no accusation beyond the very vague one 
that " he loved himself better than he did his lord, and 
wished to be alone in the dominion of the world in which 
he was much respected." 5 

Guillaume Postel takes up some of the accusations against 
Ibrahim and treats them as follows : The accusations were : 
ist. Complicity with the defterdar in looting. This Postel 
accepts, telling how Ibrahim had looted wherever he had 

1 Iskender's testimony is reported by Cantimir and Trevisano. 
1 Hadikatul Vuzera, p. 26. 
8 Soleymannameh, p. 123. 

4 Solakzadeh. " Ibrahim caused the death of a dear old man 
(Iskender) who was innocent and unjustly treated. So his own end 
was acocrding to the verse : ' Verily all-glorious Allah is master of 
revenge ' ". 

5 Alberi, III, vol. i, p. 12. 



223] 



IBRAHIM'S FALL 



marched. 2nd. His being a Christian, which we need not 
consider further here. 3rd. An understanding with the 
Emperor. 4th. An understanding with the Shah of Persia. 
5th. A desire to be sultan. 6th. A desire to raise Mustafa, 
Suleiman's son, to the throne. Postel says that Ibrahim cer- 
tainly had no understanding with the emperor, as is proved 
by the fact that the latter did not use the unexampled oppor- 
tunity of the Persian war to invade Turkey, an argument 
which seems to us strong. To this he adds the weak argu- 
ment that Ibrahim could not bear to hear the emperor 
spoken of. The charge of an understanding with the shah 
was based on the early losses in the Persian campaign which 
Postel disposes of as not being the fault of Ibrahim. The 
charge of wishing Mustafa on the throne is baseless and 
unreasonable, as the grand vizir could certainly not gain 
by a change of masters. As to the charge of wishing to 
be sultan, Postel dismisses that with the single argument 
that it was a much too dangerous to attempt. 

In the absence of any data inculpating Ibrahim of desir- 
ing the throne, we are confined to probabilities. That he 
loved power and became very ambitious must be recognized. 
Whether he were mad enough to think he could replace 
Suleiman on the throne which until this day has never been 
held by any other than a member of the family of Othman, 
and that he could hold such a position in the face of an en- 
raged public, Mohammedan to the core as to its army and 
priesthood ; whether he could have so far lost his judgment 
as to conceive that, Christian slave as he was, he could pos- 
sibly be in a more advantageous position than the one he 
already held by the grace of Suleiman, we cannot answer 
except by the fact that in public affairs his brain was still 
cool and clear. How far, if at all, he was unfaithful to his 
master and friend is buried with him in the convent at 
Galata. 



x iS IBRAHIM PASHA [224 

Ibrahim Pasha's brilliant career was closed. What were 
the achievements of his thirteen years of power? He had 
carried the Turkish arms to the gates of Vienna in the west 
and to Bagdad and Tebriz in the east, and his almost uni- 
formly successful generalship had added to the great re- 
nown in which the Ottoman army was held. Sometimes 
alone, and sometimes under the sultan, he had shown 
himself an able strategist, and fearless soldier. He had 
established diplomatic relations with Europe, one of his 
last acts being the first treaty with the French, and in 
diplomacy he had shown himself intelligent, true to Sulei- 
man's interests, and strong if not subtle. As an adminis- 
trator, his brief power in Egypt was used wisely, and his 
governorship of Roumelie was able and strong, if not ris- 
ing in a marked degree above the standards of his day. He 
was possessed of dignity, impressiveness of manner, and a 
magnificence in which he vied with his imperial master. 
He certainly had cared for his own interests, obtaining 
enormous wealth and power, but that he had ever neglected 
his master's interests is unproved, and many times he 
showed himself loyal rather than venal. 

Ibrahim's importance in Turkish history lies partly in 
the great diplomatic changes and the conquests which he 
achieved together with Suleiman, and partly in the fact 
that he was the first grand vizir taken from the people 
who exercised much power, and that with him began the 
rule of vizirs and favorites which became a very important 
fact in later Turkish history. While we recognize the dan- 
ger of such rule, yet we also feel that Turkey had a better 
chance under such men of ability as Mehmet Sokolly Pasha 
and the Kiuprelli vizirs than under the chance sultans of 
the Ottoman family, which has produced few great rulers 
since Suleiman the Magnificent. 

To western students the interest in Ibrahim's history lies 



225] IBRAHIM'S FALL 

not only in his bringing Turkey into friendly contact with 
Europe, but perhaps more in the very perfect and highly 
developed illustration he affords of the curious anomalies, 
the romantic possibilities, the strangeness of Turkish rule, 
as well as in the light that his career throws on European 
rulers and armies of the same century. 



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Ameer Ali, Syed. Mohammedan Law. Compiled from authorities in 
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Brown, H. Calendar of State Papers in Venice. London, 1898. 

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Koran. Sales' translation. Palmer's translation. 

Monumenta Hungariae Historica. Pesth, 1847. 

Noradunghian, G. Actes Internationaux de I'Empire Ottoman. Paris, 
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Parliamentary Papers. Slave Trade, 1860 (London). 

Sanuto, M. / Diarii di Marini Sanuto. 50 vols. Venice, 1879-1903. 

Suleiman I. Letters of Victory. Mejmoua Menshaat el Selatin. 

Testa, Baron I de. Recueil de Traites de la Porte Ottomane. 10 
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Tomasseo. Relations des Ambassadeurs Venetiens sur les Affaires de 
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Van Dyck. Consular report on the Capitulations of the Porte. Cairo, 
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Young, George. Corps de Droit Ottoman. 5 vols. Oxford, 1905. 

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227] BIBLIOGRAPHY 121 

Baudier, M. The History of the Imperial Estate of the Grand 
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Busbecq. Travels in Turkey, 1557. Ambassades et Voyages, 1557. 
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D'Ohsson, Mouradjea. Tableau General de I' Empire Ottoman. Paris, 
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Fatma Alieh Hanum. Les Musulmanes Contemporaines. Trois Con- 
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1894- 

Hakluyt. Voyages and Publications of the Hakluyt Society. 
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Nicolai, Nicolo de. Le Navigationi e Viaggi fatti nella Turchia, 1580. 
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Postel, G. De la Republique des Turcs et des moeurs et loy de tous 

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Snouck Hurgronje. Mekka. Haag, 1899. 
Vambery. Das Turkenvolk.. Leipzig, 1885. 

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Abdulrahman Sheref. Tarih Osmanieh (Ottoman History). Stam- 

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Hammer, J. von. Plistoire de I' Empire Ottoman. Both in the German, 
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Hill, David J. History of Diplomacy. Vol. I. New York, 1905. 

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Zeitschrift der Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft, vol. xii, 1858. Ges- 

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Zeitschrift der Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft, vol. xiv. Das Skla- 

venwesen in der Tiirkei. Leipzig, 1860. 
Original Narrative of the Adventures of the Count Christopher von 

Zedlitz in the Turkish camp. Ed. by Ellesmere. 



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VOLUME I, 1891-92. 2nd Ed., 1897. 396 pp. Price, $3.00. 

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